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Gala Honoring Brazil's Homophobic President Finds New Venue in NYC


New York Marriott Marquis will host event honoring the President Jair Bolsonaro.

Looks like a party honoring homophobic Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will go on in New York City, just at a new venue.

New York Marriott Marquis has agreed to host the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, according to the New York Daily News.

Their decision to welcome the event comes after the American Museum of Natural History refused to host the event following uproar over honoring Bolsonaro, which included scientists threatening to quit their jobs and activists vowing to disrupt the dinner.

Eventually, the museum decided it was "not the optimal location" for it.

The Chamber each year picks one Brazilian and one U.S. figure for its title honor. The newly elected president was selected for the honor this year, presumably, in hopes he will attend the New York gala and meet with members who wish to strengthen business ties in Brazil.

"The choice of President Bolsonaro is a recognition of his strongly stated intention of fostering closer commercial and diplomatic ties between Brazil and the United States and his firm commitment to building a strong and durable partnership between the two nations," reads a statement from the Chamber.

Not mentioned?

The new president has started a process of erasing LGBTQ and feminist leaders from textbooks Brazil. He instructed the nation's human rights ministry to remove LGBTQ concerns from its list of priorities, despite Brazil remaining one of the most dangerous countries in the world for transgender individuals. And during his campaign for president, he said he'd prefer to see his own son dead than be gay.

New York Sen. Brad Hoylman, an out lawmaker representing part of Manhattan, immediately called on the Marquis to follow the museum's lead and cancel the event honoring Bolsonaro.

"The only award President Bolsonaro should be receiving is bigot of the year," Hoylman said.

He told the newspaper it was "incredibly offensive that a business in my Senate district, which has a large LGBTQ population, would host a man who once said he'd rather have a dead son than a gay man."

Marquis spokeswoman Kathleen Duffy pushed back on mounting backlash against them and said the hotel's "acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual."

Host Hotels and Resorts, the owner of the Marriott Marquis, recently released a statement after being recognized by the HRC Corporate Equality Index, a survey on corporate responsibility in workplace equality with the LGBTQ community.

"Host is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and is dedicated to maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace," the statement partly read.

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