On Monday Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro promised to govern “without distinction of social origin, race, sex, age or religion.” The promise to govern all groups equally is a 180 turn from presidential candidate Bolsonaro, who made many offensive comments about women, LGBT Brazilians and other minorities.
Let’s not forget that Bolsonaro’s victory is largely because of support from evangelicals who were eager to embrace Bolsonaro’s culture wars and anti-gay rhetoric. Bolsonaro has described himself as a “proud homophobe,” and in a 2011 interview said he would rather have a dead son than a gay son. Bolsonaro’s Vice President, Hamilton Mourão, shares Bolsonaro’s homophobic views and has stated that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
As Brazil’s soon-to-be president prepares for his January 1 inauguration, LGBT Brazilians scared by Bolsonaro’s close ties to the evangelical and Catholic churches are rushing to get married and get name and gender changes. While the incoming government does not intend to change thestatus of same-sex marriages, experts like Maria Berenice Dias of the Brazilian Bar Association have recommended couples who want to formalize their union do so before the end of the year as a precaution.