Brazil’s Homophobic President Cancels US Trip After Public Outrage

Jair Bolsonaro (image via Flickr/Agência Brasil Fotografias – CC License)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has cancelled an upcoming trip to the United States, where he was to be honored as person of the year by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, after growing outrage among LGBTQ activists and other groups.

The American Museum of Natural History last month announced it would no longer host the event with Bolsonaro.

Delta Air Lines, The Financial Times and Bain & Co are among the companies that pulled their sponsorship of the event because of Bolsonaro’s participation.

Otávio Santana do Rêgo Barros, a spokesperson for Bolsonaro, announced the trip’s cancellation due to “deliberate attacks from the mayor of New York and the pressure of interest groups on the institutions that organize, sponsor and host the event annually.”

A former Brazilian Army captain and member of Brazil’s Congress, Bolsonaro took office on January 1 after waging a very anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-indigenous campaign.

He’s publicly said that he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son.

When asked if he was homophobic, he not only answered ‘yes,’ but said he is ‘proudly’ homophobic.

Shortly after being sworn in, he ordered Brazil’s human rights office not to consider LGBTQ-specific issues.

Bolsonaro on March 19 stressed his government’s “respect of traditional family values” and opposition to “gender identity” as he spoke alongside President Trump during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.

And last week, Bolsonaro announced he does not want Brazil to become a “gay tourism paradise.”