Brazil: LGBT group launches website listing political candidates who support gay rights

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

In the lead up to the Brazilian Presidential election this month, an LGBT group has launched a campaign website to promote awareness of candidates who publicly support gay rights.

Amid controversy from leading and fringe-party candidates expressing anti-gay views ahead of the October 5th national vote, the #VoteLGBT campaign has published information online to help “spread and build LGBT interests in Brazil.”

The website lists the profiles of all party candidates for legislative positions who openly pledge support for LGBT rights.

In a press statement, the organisation states: “There is an alarming context for the Brazilian LGBT community.

“Brazil is the country with the largest number of murders against lesbians, gays, transgenders and transsexuals, according to statistics from Grupo Gay da Bahia.

“Despite this harsh reality, the legislative power is being refractory against policies designed to ensure rights and protection to LGBT people.

“The elections, therefore, are a time of apprehension and hope for LGBTs. We know that the outcome of the 2014 elections may result in losses or gains in terms of public policy for Human Rights.”

Earlier this week, Labour Renewal Party leader Levy Fidelix overshadowed a live television debate with an extended homophobic rant, saying gay people “need psychological care” and should be kept “well away.”

In August, Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva also dropped a pledge to defend same-sex marriage, claiming it was included in her manifesto by mistake.

The #VoteLGBT statement adds: “We believe that growing the number of pro-LGBT legislators will give visibility to the need for urgent public policies for LGBTs.”

The campaign follows the approval of legislation in June last year that would reinstate the possibility of psychological treatment of homosexuality, treating it as a disease.

Brazil’s Supreme Court controversially ruled in favour of same-sex marriage last year, but the change has faced strong opposition from evangelical lawmakers, and attempts to codify the change into law have stalled in Congress.