São Paulo Archdiocese Commission Issues Supportive Statement for Pride
May 9th, 2014
A BTB reader in Brazil passes along this fascinating tidbit: the Justice and Peace Commission of the São Paulo Archdiocese has issued a surprisingly supportive statement in advance of the city’s Pride celebration that’s taking place this week. The statement, which was released on April 30 and citing the Second Vatican Council, states, in part:
…[W]e can not remain silent in the face of the reality that is lived by this population: they are the target of prejudice and victims of the systematic violation of their Fundamental Rights, such as those to health, education, work, housing and culture, among others. Besides all this, they face every day an unbearable level of physical and verbal violence, building up to murders which are true crimes of hatred.
Given this, we invite all people of good will, and in particular, all Christians, to reflect on this profoundly unjust reality as lived by LGBT people, and, guided by the supreme principle of Human Dignity, to dedicate themselves actively to overcoming it.
The director of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese, Geraldo Magela Tardelli, said this is the first time that the commission wrote “formally” in favor of homosexuals. “The committee has a mission, according to Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Ars: ‘we have to give voice to those who have no voice.’ Right now, what we are finding is that there is an increase of violence against homosexuals, so we can not overlook. regarding this violation of human rights,” said the director.
According to him, the realization of the Gay Parade ordered the disclosure of the note.”We think this was the right time to put this note in circulation. We, the Church, are engaged in defending human rights and are not siding with its violation, regardless of color and sexual orientation of people,” said Tardelli.
The full statement is here:
Note from the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of São Paulo
Faithful to its mission of announcing and defending the Gospel and civilizing values of Human Rights, the Justice and Peace Commission of São Paulo (CJPSP) wishes to make a public statement on the occasion of the 18th LGBT Pride Parade which is to take place on the Avenida Paulista next Sunday, 4th May 2014.
We base ourselves on the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, approved at the 2nd Vatican Council which says “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.”
Therefore the defense of the dignity, the citizenship and the safety of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transgender) people is indispensable in the building of a fraternal and just society. For this reason we can not remain silent in the face of the reality that is lived by this population: they are the target of prejudice and victims of the systematic violation of their Fundamental Rights, such as those to health, education, work, housing and culture, among others. Besides all this, they face every day an unbearable level of physical and verbal violence, building up to murders which are true crimes of hatred.
Given this, we invite all people of good will, and in particular, all Christians, to reflect on this profoundly unjust reality as lived by LGBT people, and, guided by the supreme principle of Human Dignity, to dedicate themselves actively to overcoming it.
São Paulo, 30th April 2014
Human Rights Commission of São Paulo
[Special thanks to BTB reader James]
Brazilian Council declares nationwide marriage equality
May 14th, 2013
The National Council of Justice, which oversees the Brazilian judicial system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.
The Supreme Court “affirmed that the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution,” said Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa on the council’s website, referring to a 2011 ruling by the top court.
Barbosa also said there was no reason for the government’s marriage licensing offices to wait for the Brazilian Congress to pass a law authorising same-sex marriage.
Currently a same-sex couple can create a union in any state in the nation. They then can have a judge rule that union to be a marriage. In 14 of Brazil’s 27 jurisdictions, a marriage license can be provided directly, without the two step process. This appears to resolve the remaining jurisdictions and allow same-sex couples in any state to marry without an extra burden.
The decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court. But as the Supreme Court’s chief justice announced the ruling, I am not clear as to whether such an appeal would be made or has any likelihood of success. So it may be that Brazil is the 15th country to offer nationwide offer marriage equality.
The countries which currently provide marriage equality are:
South Africa (2006)
New Zealand (2013)
A look at marriage in Brazil
April 30th, 2013
Brazil has an interesting approach to marriage. Since 2011, same-sex couples have been able to register their unions across the nation. And once registered, they could petition a judge to convert that union into a marriage.
However, many of Brazil’s states have eliminated the two-step dance by allowing marriage licenses to be granted directly to same-sex couples. Two more passed marriage equality bills yesterday, bringing the total to 14 of the 27 jurisdictions: the states of Alagoas, Sergipe, Espíritu Santo, Bahía, Piauí, São Paulo, Ceará, Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondônia, Paraíba, and Santa Catarina along with the Brazilian Federal District.
Nine of those were enacted within the last six months (four this month alone).
Marriage update – South America
January 27th, 2013
It’s getting marriagey all over the place. And it’s also getting hard to keep track of what is going on where. So here is an update to help (which will probably be outdated by the time I hit “publish”).
Central South America:
Argentina – marriage has been equal since 2010.
Bolivia – in 2011 a bill to grant some limited couple recognition was introduced into the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies. It was referred in April 2012 to the Human Rights Commission, where it appears to have fallen asleep.
Brazil – since May 2011, Brazil has had recognizd civil unions for same-sex couples. The states of Alegoas and Bahia allow couples to administratively convert the civil unions to marriage. Since last month, same-sex couples in Sao Paulo may marry without any converted-civil-unions process.
Chile – on March 27, 2012, Daniel Zamudio was tortured and beaten to death. Much in the same way that Matthew Sheppard’s story changed the United States, Zamudio’s has been changing Chile. A long-stalled non-discrimination bill was quickly passed and signed and the populace is now impatient with institutionalize homophobia.
In August 2011, conservative President Pinera sent a civil unions bill to congress and two months ago he reaffirmed that the end of his term, March 2014, is the deadline for its passage. In hearings on the bill in the first weeks of the year, the Catholic Bishop of San Bernardo testified that the bill “brings the destruction of human beings and, although they deny it, destruction to social and family peace among men.” However, public polling shows strong support and the President has named the bill “a top priority”.
The opposition party’s contenders for Presidential nominee debated earlier this month whether same-sex couples should have civil unions or marriage rights. It is likely that civil unions will be achieved this year and that marriage equality will then follow at some point.
Colombia – in July 2011, the Supreme Court found that same sex couples have the same contitutional rights to recognition as heterosexual couples, but they left the structure open to Congress to legislate. Since that time there have been various bills pass one house or the other, but none came to completion. Currently there is a marriage bill in the Senate which has passed the first committee hurdle. Should no bill be enacted by June 20th, same-sex couples will be able to go to judges and become recognized. As there is no alternative legal structure in place, it seems logical that the only legal alternative for judges is to declare them married. But as legislators are disinclined to turn over power to anyone, it’s even more likely that something – civil unions or marriage – will be in place by that date.
Ecuador – while marriage equality is banned by constitution, Ecuador has had civil unions since 2008.
Uruguay – civil unions have been available since 2007. Last month a marriage equality bill passed the House of Deputes with a wide margin last month and is expected to pass the Senate in April.
And while other nations in South America are strongly hostile to same-sex marriage recognition, many of them place strong importance on the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has been increasingly supportive of gay rights. It may be that this court plays a role in shifting the continent’s laws in the near future.
Brazil’s largest state gets marriage equality
December 23rd, 2012
In May 2011, Brazil’s Supreme Court determined that the nation’s constitution guaranteed equal rights for Brazilian gay couples. However, they stopped short of marriage, opting for a civil unions structure instead.
In June 2011, a judge in Sao Paulo State, the nation’s largest and wealthies state, ruled that a civil union could be converted into marriage with judicial approval. Since that time, two Brazilian states, Alagoas and Bahia, have allowed couples to convert to marriage without judicial approval.
The new standard was published in the Electronic Journal of Justice and enters into force in 60 days.
With the measure, the gay couple no longer need to register before ordering stable marriage. Now, just as the couple go to the court and ask the wedding registry.
Also no longer need to go to court to ask for marriage or conversion of a stable union.
Brazilian activist takes on the Pope
January 16th, 2012
This phrase, “The Jews are our Misfortune”, attributed to nationalist German historian Heinrich von Treitschke, became a motto of Der Stürmer, a Nazi publication. But the seeds planted by von Treitshke, though planted in a fertile ground of existing anti-Semetic hostility, didn’t bloom until long after his 1879 declaration (incidentally, three years after my German Jewish ancestors decided to find a new life in California).
Brazilian politician and activist Jean Wyllys sees parallels between von Treitscke’s demonization of German Jews and the Pope’s declaration that gay marriages threaten “the future of humanity itself”: (Ocio Gay)
Benedicto XVI no puede continuar difundiendo el odio y el prejuicio contra los gays. No puede decir que nosotros, sólo por amar, sólo por reclamar que nuestro amor sea respetado y reconocido, somos “una amenaza”. Por otra parte, porque ese tipo de frases tiene una historia. “¡Los judíos son nuestra desgracia!” (“Die Juden sind unser Unglück!”), dijo el historiador Heinrich von Treitschke, y esa desgraciada expresión, publicada en la revista alemana Der Sturmer y luego usada como lema por los nazis, terminó en lo que terminó. Los homosexuales también lo sabemos: nuestro destino en la Alemania nazi, donde Benedicto XVI pasó su juventud, era el mismo de los judíos, sólo que en vez de la estrella de David, lo que nos identificaba en los campos de concentración era el triángulo rosa. La tragedia del nazismo debería haber servido para aprender que el otro, el diferente, no es una amenaza, ni una desgracia, ni el enemigo. Y nosotros, los homosexuales, no amenazamos a nadie. Nuestro amor es tan bello y saludable como el de cualquiera. Y merecemos el mismo respeto y los mismos derechos que cualquiera.
De la misma manera que sucede ahora con el “matrimonio gay”, el matrimonio entre blancos y negros —llamado, en la época, “matrimonio interracial”— ya fue considerado “antinatural y contrario a la ley de Dios” y una amenaza contra la civilización. En una sentencia de 1966, un tribunal de Virginia que convalidó su prohibición usó estas palabras: “Dios Todopoderoso creó a la razas blanca, negra, amarilla, malaya y roja y las colocó en continentes separados. El hecho de que Él las haya separado demuestra que Él no tenía la intención de que las razas se mezclaran”. El matrimonio entre alemanes “de raza aria” y judíos también fue prohibido por Hitler. Hasta los evangélicos tuvieron el derecho al matrimonio negado en muchos países durante mucho tiempo, porque eran, también, una amenaza —para la Iglesia católica. Parece que algunos pastores no se acuerdan, pero fue así.
Benedict can not continue spreading hatred and prejudice against gays. You can not say that we only love, only to claim that our love is respected and recognized, are “a threat.” Moreover, because such words have a history. “The Jews are our misfortune!” (“Die Juden sind unser Unglück!”), The historian Heinrich von Treitschke, and that unfortunate expression, published in the German magazine Der Sturmer and then used as a slogan by the Nazis, ended in it ended. Homosexuals know: our fate in Nazi Germany, where Benedict XVI spent his youth, was the same as the Jews, only instead of the Star of David, which we identified in the concentration camps was the pink triangle . The tragedy of Nazism should have served to learn than the other, the different, not a threat, not a misfortune, not the enemy. And we, the homosexuals, not threaten anyone. Our love is so beautiful and healthy as anyone. And we deserve the same respect and rights as anyone else.
In the same way as happens now with the “gay marriage”, marriage between whites and blacks, called at the time, “interracial marriage” – and was considered “unnatural and contrary to the law of God” and a threat civilization. In a 1966 ruling of a court in Virginia upheld its ban used these words: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red and placed them on separate continents. The fact that he has separated the shows that he did not intend for the races to mix. ” The marriage of German “Aryan race” and was also banned Jews from Hitler. Even the evangelicals were denied the right to marriage in many countries for a long time, they were also a threat, the Catholic Church. It seems that some pastors do not remember, but it was so.
Another Former Ex-Gay Leader: “Nobody Quit Being Gay”
November 3rd, 2011
This time, it’s Sergio Viula, founder of the Movement for Healthy Sexuality (the Portuguese acronym is MOSES), an evangelical ex-gay organization:
But how was this process of ‘abandoning the sin’? Was it like a treatment?
– That didn’t really happen, after all. It was like the so-called discipleship, which happened to be brainwashing, indeed. You have to get isolated from your former circle of friends, start attend church meetings, go through counseling sessions, pray, fast, and stuff like that. When somebody happened to get involved with another homosexual, he had to confess what he’d done. THAT’S FUCKING CRAZY! Sorry, but even nowadays I feel angry when I remember that.
– Nobody really quit being gay. There were relationships even within the group, between an activity and another, they would always find time for that. Can you figure out how much suffering to myself and to all of those who have already worked or been influenced by this kind of ‘ministry’? That’s enraging! And there are people repeating that stupid discourse until today.
He used to call himself ex-gay — and had even married and had two children — but says “Today I know that I was deceiving myself.” He also describes the effect being an ex-gay leader had on him:
[I]t was an act of violence against ourselves, as we had internalized the homophobia that surrounded us from early childhood, as well as against the others, because we reproduced that very homophobia which they had internalized by themselves long before. We just reinforced it even more.
UPDATE: A note from Viula
I’ve just released a translation of my book in English on slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/SergioViula/sergio-viulatranslation Check it out, please, and if you like it, spread the news. ;)
Couple recognition in Latin America
August 10th, 2011
As it stands, much of Latin America either has some form of couple recognition or is in the process of doing so.
Marriage – Argentina 2010
Marriage – Mexico 2010 – marriage must occur in Mexico City but recognized throughout
Civil Unions – Uruguay 2007
Civil Unions – Ecuador 2008
Civil Unions – Brazil 2011
Proposed – Colombia 2011 – Court directed the legislature to draft law
Proposed – Chile 2011 – President proposed Life Partnership (Civil Unions) bill
Sao Paulo’s legislation: Straight Pride or Hate Pride?
August 4th, 2011
Heterosexuals have made many contributions to society, have unique attributes that deserve acknowledgement, and should never be made to feel shame for their orientation. If straight folk feel insignificant or have experienced discrimination, then by all means celebrate and find pride in your identity. Set up panels to discuss opposite-sex attractions and explore them and think about what it means to be straight. Embrace your heterosexuality.
And there’s even a benefit for non-straight people: people who are truly comfortable with their sexuality tend to be tolerant of those with different sexuality. Those who are brave enough and curious enough to try and understand what motivates their desire and to truly understand their attractions seem to develop a respect and even advocacy for others in the process.
But, of course, that it not what those who say that they want Straight Pride mean at all. They don’t want a festivity of heterosexuality or a discovery of its meaning and celebration of its culture. It isn’t Straight Pride that they are seeking, but Anti-Gay Pride. It’s not love for heterosexuals that they seek to express, but hatred and contempt for gay people.
As is evident in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP)
The city council of South America’s biggest city has adopted legislation calling for a Heterosexual Pride Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of each December.
Are they seeking to celebrate straight conformity with signs extolling family dinner or straight abandon like a second Carnival? No. Their reasons don’t even mention heterosexuality.
The legislation’s author, Carlos Apolinario, said the idea for a Heterosexual Pride Day is “not anti-gay but a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”
As an example, he mentioned how Sao Paulo’s huge gay pride day parade is held every year on Paulista Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in this city of 20 million people, while the March for Jesus organized by evangelical groups is not allowed on the same avenue.
Oh… so this isn’t about straight pride at all, just anti-gay resentment.
This legislation must be signed by the Mayor to go into effect. But I don’t much care if they get their Straight Pride day. They can even close Paulista Avenue and make it theirs for the day.
Obviously it isn’t a good thing when the city council of the largest city in South America endorsed homophobia. But I have no fear about comparing Gay Pride to Anti-Gay Pride in Sao Paolo. Show the world which parade that city’s residents endorse.
Because the thing about events is that it can be fun to join someone in celebrating their uniqueness and love for their community – be it St. Patrick’s Day or the Lotus Festival or MLK Day or Gay Pride or even a March for Jesus, I suppose. And in Sao Paulo about three million people show up at Gay Pride to watch the floats, dancers, and marchers and to enjoy the fun and celebration.
But days to celebrate hate just don’t put a smile on your face. An Anti-Irish Day Parade would not be much fun at all and I doubt that a Stomp on Lotus Festival would get beyond the planning phase.
Sure some Eastern European cities have had anti-gay marches and there are always those donkey people in Jerusalem, but the Anti-Gay Pride Parade just doesn’t seem to promise the sparkle and flash that Parada do Orgulho LGBT de São Paulo brings. Besides, what would they do for floats? Straight go-go dancers often aren’t and the straight version of drag tends to be pro-gay anyway.
Brazilian judge rules for marriage
June 27th, 2011
In May, the Supreme Court of Brazil ruled that the nation must allow its gay couples rights and recognition comparable to marriage. Now a judge has ruled that one couple’s civil union can be converted to marriage. (AP)
A Brazilian judge has approved what is apparently the South American nation’s first gay marriage.
Sao Paulo state judge Fernando Henrique Pinto says he has ruled that two men can convert their civil union into a marriage.
Brazil Supreme Court legalizes civil unions
May 5th, 2011
Most justices of the Supreme Court (STF) has recognized civil unions between homosexuals, ensuring these couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Of the eleven ministers of the Supreme Court, six had already voted in favor of the thesis until late afternoon on Thursday. If no request for examination and any minister to change the vote, the trial is set. Only José Antonio Dias Toffoli, former attorney general of the Union and who starred in one of the processes in question, did not participate in the discussion by declaring itself prevented.
The deciding vote was the former Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes. He agreed with his colleagues in saying that, even without words, in the constitutional text, stable homosexual marriage, the civil rights of same-sex couples can not be denied. “The fact that the Constitution deal with the union between man and woman does not mean the negative union between persons of the same sex.” Given the lack of definition on the issue in Congress, Gilmar Mendes was critical to the inertia of deputies and senators, as a plan is under discussion at home, without success. “What is required is a minimal model of institutional protection to prevent discrimination. This protection should be done by the Congress.”
Marriage bills proposed in Brazil and Uruguay
April 9th, 2011
On Top Magazine is reporting that two South American neighbors will be reviewing laws to legalize same-sex marriage. The largest, Brazil, currently has no nationwide recognition of same-sex couples.
A group of 171 senators and deputies in Brazil have joined a “Parliamentary Front for the LGBT Community,” which will promote the legalization of gay marriage, Spanish news agency EFE reported.
The effort is helmed by Senator Marta Suplicy and Congressman Jean Wyllys, Brazil’s first openly gay lawmaker.
The discussion surrounding this endeavor will well serve gay Brazilians as it introduces and debates the concept of equality. But Uruguay, sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, where marriage equality is the law, may have a greater chance of success. It was the first to adopt nation-wide recognition of civil unions.
A bill that would legalize marriage between two members of the same sex is expected to be introduced in Uruguay next week, La Nacion reported.
The bill was drafted with the help of the gay right group Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep) and is being sponsored by Representative Sebastian Sabini of the Frente Amplio, the nation’s ruling party.
The bill also proposes to reform divorce in the country, making it easier for couples to end their marriage.
Pension rights in Brazil
December 10th, 2010
The Brazilian government says gay couples in a stable relationship are entitled to the same social security pension benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
The Social Security Ministry says in a Friday statement that the gay spouse of a retiree who dies will now be able to receive the pension payments once received by his or her companion. The policy covers formally registered workers who pay monthly social security fees.
This is interesting in that Brazil does not recognize same-sex couples outside of one state. Rio Grande del Sul recognized civil unions.
Mean-Spirited Tweet of the Day
July 23rd, 2010
You know a counterfeit is a counterfeit when the happiness and freedom it initially promised ends up leading to deeper bondage.
— Exodus International president Alan Chambers
“Counterfeit” is ex-gay code-speak for gay people getting together, falling in love, forming families, and living the American dream. “Bondage” is ex-gay code-speak for just going about your life — that is if you’re gay. If you’re straight, then the term is just “living.” But whatever.
Alan Chambers will spend next week taking his counterfeit message to Brazil. He will be speaking for six days at a Summer Institute next week at the Igreja Bautista Central in Magé, near Rio de Janero. Here’s the Google translation:
We are glad to realize another Institute. This time, in partnership with Exodus International. Exodus International is the largest evangelical institution that works to restore and evangelization of the world’s homosexuals. Together, we are bringing the topic: “Grace That Makes Reborn.”
Our purpose is to show the grace of God as the unconditional and sole agent that enables a real transformation in the lives of those who struggle with homosexuality and who are often marginalized by society and the Church of Jesus Christ.
The instrument used by God to bless us in these days will be Mr. Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. He will minister every day talking about the emotional and spiritual causes of homosexuality, will speak about the myths we create about homosexuality, the importance of a Christian attitude toward homosexuals, and speak of the structure of this ministry to be applied in the Church to bless the lives of people living this conflict.
We have no doubt that these days will mark our history and our lives, for this reason we invited you to join us. We believe that, as a church, or simply, individuals must have an attitude of love and compassion for those who also loved Jesus. After all, the cross of Christ is not for a privileged few but for all, including homosexuals. God has no favorites when it comes to saving people from their sins. His love and grace are the essential ingredients for a sinner can be reborn. Therefore, we believe this can make FREE qualqur again sinner.
Sign up and receive this blessing.
Gay Marriage Killed The Penguins
July 23rd, 2010
The ex-gay nutcake of San Diego strikes again:
Penguins Boycott Argentina’s Forced Same-Sex Marriage Law! Homosexual Activists Claim Penguins Are Gay: Shocked Penguins Drop Dead in Response!
Hundreds of dead Magellanic penguins have washed ashore on beaches in Brazil this month, animal experts say.
At least 500 have been reported in the Peruibe area, The Christian Science Monitor reported. The city is south of Sao Paulo.
Brazil, Argentina, Antarctica… it’s all the same, isn’t it? Here’s the Christian Science Monitor report. Scientists say normal migrations are normal, but the currents have shifted due to local weather patterns. But ex-gay gadfly James Hartline, who is off his meds again, says it’s punishment for same-sex marriage in Argentina:
This is the latest in a series of global strikes by nature against areas of the world where homosexual activists are being empowered to spread homosexuality and paganism via their partners in activist governmental bodies and liberalized emergent church organizations.