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A Brazil "Gay Cure" Law In Midst Of Nationwide Economic Protests

Gay Parade in Sao Paulo
Gay Parade in Sao Paulo
Marcio Falcao

BRASILIA - With an inflamatory speech, the president of the Brazilian Parliament’s Commission for Human Rights Marco Feliciano has warned the federal government not to interfere in the voting session for the proposed law known as “gay cure.”

Feliciano, who is the leader of an evangelical church, as well as a group of some 80 members of Parliament who abide by traditionalist Christian teachings, has been attempting to push through a law that would allow psychologists to be allowed to treat people with homosexuality — a law sarcastically dubbed “gay cure” by its opponents.

Feliciano denied that forcing a vote on the controversial proposition now was an attempt to provoke demonstrators of massive nationwide protests against economic conditions in the country. “We’ve been waiting for this to be voted on for two years now,” he said.

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Marco Feliciano - Photo: Alexandra Martins / Câmara dos Deputados

Instead, the evangelical legislator said he was responding to Brazil’s Minister of Human Rights, Maria do Rosário, who promised to fight the project within the government. Earlier in the week, she said that the law would be a “step back considering that it does not acknowledge sexual diversity as a human right. Talking about cure is the same as talking about a disease.”

Feliciano said it was a “political game,” and that “the government always tried to block projects. It happens all the time.” He added: “I want to tell the minister to keep away from the Legislature, because it's too dangerous. She is dealing with all our group”.

Project

The project, authored by deputy João Campos, was born within the Lower House of Parliament. It nullifies two parts of the resolution written in 1999 by the Federal Council of Psychology. The first one states that “psychologists shall not collaborate in events or services offering treatment and cure for homosexuality.”

The second part says “psychologists will neither pronounce nor participate in public speeches, in the mass media, reinforcing social prejudice related to homosexuals as pursuing any kind of psychological disorder.”

Campos justifies the document by saying that the council restricted the work of professionals and the right to receive professional advice.

The vote is a victory for the evangelical group, who has been trying to push it since two years ago.

Feliciano argues the project does not consider homosexuality a disease, and criticizes the nickname “gay cure” used by the media and activists against it. He says that psychologists have the right to help patients who look for help concerning their sexuality.


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