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Brazil's Presidential Front-Runner: Rather Have My Son Dead Than Gay


The likely winner of Brazil's presidential race is an alarming homophobe.

Jair Bolsonaro, who's leading in polls in Brazil's presidential race, is a dangerous option for the South America country's LGBTQ people.

The Social Liberal Party candidate, who has become the front-runner after former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was disqualified from the race (he is serving 12 years in jail for corruption), has made deeply homophobic remarks on several occasions, including a comment that he would rather his son be dead than gay.

"I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident," the candidate told Playboy in 2011.

He stood by his statements in a 2013 interview with Stephen Fry, proclaiming, "No father would ever take pride in having a gay son."

"Look, you have to have some sort of moral compass bearing in your life. [Gay activists] want to reach our children in order to turn the children into gay adults to satisfy their sexuality in the future," he continued.

Bolsonaro, currently a member of Brazil's Congress, could translate his homophobia into actual policies if he is elected president.

In 2015, he said patients in need of transfusions should be allowed to reject "gay blood." Last month, he told Time that he would punch men if he saw them kissing each other on the street.

The 63-year-old candidate is alarmingly uneducated on homosexuality and has fought to remain so.

"I went into battle with the gays because the government proposed antihomophobia classes for the junior grades, but that would actively stimulate homosexuality in children from 6 years old," he told Stephen Fry. "There is no homophobic behavior in Brazil. Those who die, 90 percent of homosexual deaths, they die in drug-related situations, prostitution, or even killed by their own partners."

It seems that Bolsonaro's homophobia is attached to his misogynist worldview.

In 2016, Ellen Page sat down with him on her show Gaycation. "Over time, due to liberal habit, drugs, with women also working, the number of homosexuals has really increased," he told the actor-advocate. He told her that because she was a lesbian, she was "escaping normality."

"Even you with your partner, right? - won't make children. If you'll have one it will depend on something donated by us, heteros, us, men," he continued.

Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen Friday during a rally. He is in a serious but stable condition, and likely will still be able to take office if elected.

The first round of voting is scheduled for October 7; if no candidate wins 60 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff October 28. The most recent polling showed Bolsonaro preferred by 22 percent of voters, several percentage points ahead of his closest rival, former Environment Minister Marina Silva. The incumbent, Michel Temer, is not running and is facing corruption charges of his own.

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Ariel Sobel