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Bolsonaro: Brazil has president who believes in ‘family principles’

Brazilian president opened U.N. General Assembly

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday told the U.N. General Assembly he believes in “family principles.”

“We believe the traditional nuclear family is the foundation of civilization,” said Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro — a former Brazilian Army captain who previously represented Rio de Janeiro in the country’s Congress — has faced widespread criticism over his rhetoric against LGBTQ Brazilians and other underrepresented groups since he took office in 2018.

Bolsonaro in 2019 spoke about his government’s “respect of traditional family values” and opposition to “gender identity” when he appeared alongside then-President Trump at a White House press conference. Bolsonaro during the same trip also met a group of evangelical Christians who included Pat Robertson.

Bolsonaro’s 2019 decision to suspend public funding of LGBTI-specific television projects and films sparked further criticism.

One of the former police officers who was charged with the 2018 murder of Marielle Franco, a bisexual Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, lived in the same exclusive condominium complex in which Bolsonaro had a home when he was a congressman. Former Congressman Jean Wyllys, an openly gay man who was a vocal Bolsonaro critic, in 2019 resigned and fled Brazil because of death threats.

Bolsonaro in recent months has faced calls for his impeachment over his handling of the pandemic in the country and corruption allegations. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is among those who are running against him in next year’s presidential elections.

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Africa

Zambia president reiterates opposition to LGBTQ, intersex rights

Hakainde Hichilema made comments in response to anti-LGBTQ protest

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Dr. Brian Sampa has organized protests against LGBTQ and intersex rights in Zambia. (Photo via Dr. Brian Sampa's Facebook page)

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on Monday reiterated his government does not support LGBTQ and intersex rights.

In a video posted to his Facebook page on Monday, Hichilema said Zambia is a country deeply rooted in Christianity and therefore does not support same sex relations. The president’s remarks came after Dr. Brian Sampa on Sept. 15 held an anti-LGBTQ rights protest.

The police stopped Sampa’s protest, which was to have taken place at the State House in Lusaka, the country’s capital. Officers said he did not have the necessary permits and told him and the handful of other protesters to instead approach the country’s Gender Ministry.

“Zambia is a Christian nation it’s clear! We all agree, but sometimes we want to extract sections of our communities and say these are not Christians. Religion in diversity. Churches in diversity but one body of Christ and I want to say it is not right,” said Hichilema in his video. “I have been following what is happening in the country and to say that the new dawn government is promoting lesbian rights or gay rights that is not right. We have said it before in opposition and now in government that we do not support gay, lesbian rights as a government.” 

“The records are there,” he added. “The media houses carry those records from years back but now in the last recent days people are propagating in churches preaching about lesbian rights that is divisive you know, the new dawn government this and that it’s not right let’s focus on unity, let’s focus on materiality, things that matter for this country, our children keeping them in school matters more than the peripheral petty side of a divisive behavior.” 

Sampa, meanwhile, has said he will be leading another anti-LGBTQ protest under the banner #BanNdevupaNdevu (#BanBeardonBeard) on Sept. 28. He said he plans to deliver a letter to the State House pertaining to what he labelled “the rise in unnatural acts like homosexuality.”

“Our fight is non-political. It’s for Zambians regardless of your color, creed, religion or political affiliation,” said Sampa on Facebook. “The president needs to be making it clear to those ambassadors from some countries our stance about homosexuality. Here we chase ambassadors who support homosexuals because it’s criminal under our constitution. The government has got power to end all this, but we are lacking political will against homosexuality. Use the law to the latter.”

“Parents make time to talk to your children and visit them in boarding schools,” he added. “Male boarding schools are no longer safe. The homosexuals are sodomizing children as they initiate them into this bad vice.”

Sampa also posted to Facebook a picture of a bed with what appears to be human feces on sheets. Sampa said it was a result of too much anal sex and cautioned that heterosexuals should be concerned if their partner wants to engage in it.

“Before you join them no matter the amount they will offer you, remember this picture. This is a picture of a bed used by a person with fecal incontinence due to anal sex what you are seeing are feces leaking from the anus because the sphincter muscle is destroyed due to anal sex,” he said. “This is an example of a male-to-male relationship. Don’t be deceived; the anus is not a sexual organ. Would a normal person be happy to dip their penis in feces? Nobody enjoys the smell of feces unless there is some psychological problem.”

“For ladies, how to know that you are dating a homosexual,” added Sampa. “If the guy keeps demanding for anal sex make sure you report him to the police.”

Zambia criminalizes same-sex sexual activity between men and between women. Sentences include a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

A court in 2019 convicted two gay men of engaging in same-sex sexual activity and sentenced them to 15 years in prison. They received a presidential pardon in 2020 amid international pressure, but reports of discrimination and violence against LGBTQ and intersex Zambians remain commonplace.

Daniel Itai is the Washington Blade’s Africa Correspondent.

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United Nations

Biden notes LGBTQ, intersex rights in UN General Assembly speech

President stressed ‘fundamental freedoms’ at risk around the world

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President Joe Biden speaks at the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the White House/Twitter)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad.

“The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights and contribute fully to building stronger economies and more resilient societies, where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their communities, where the LGBTQ+ community, individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence, where citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisal,” said Biden in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly.

Biden specifically referenced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the U.N. General Assembly ratified in 1948. Biden also noted “fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world” with specific references to the Taliban’s repression of women and girls in Afghanistan, the persecution of pro-democracy activists in Myanmar and human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in China’s Xinjiang province that now former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet documented in a report her office released just before her tenure ended on Sept. 1.

Biden also sharply criticized Russia over its war against Ukraine.

“The United States will always promote human rights,” he said.

Biden in February 2021 signed a memo that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad as part of his administration’s overall foreign policy.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday spoke at a meeting of the LGBTI Core Group, a group of U.N. countries that have pledged to support LGBTQ and intersex rights. Jessica Stern, the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad, was among those who were in attendance.

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Europe

More than 10K participate in anti-LGBTQ rights march in Turkey

Organizers called for protection of children from ‘LGBTQ terrorist propaganda agenda’

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Anti-LGBTQ+ protestors gather in Saraçhane Park in Istanbul on Sept. 18, 2022, to listen to Kürşat Mican and other anti-LGBTQ+ rally organizers. (Photo courtesy of Kürşat Mican/Twitter)

Despite heavy downpours mixed with light rain showers, more than 10,000 anti-LGBTQ protestors gathered in this ancient city and principal seaport of Turkey on Sunday, protesting what organizers said was to protect their children from the “LGBTQ terrorist propaganda agenda.”

Billed as the “Great Family Walk” lead organizer Kürşat Mican, speaking to the crowds gathered, demanded that the Turkish government ban all LGBTQ activities and shut down all LGBTQ organizations. The organizers were also demanding that Turkey’s parliament ban what they called LGBTQ “evil,” which they claimed pervades Netflix, social media, arts and sports in the country.

Gathering at Saraçhane Park, protestors carried signs with the slogan “protect your family and generation,” the speakers, in addition to Mican, told the crowd that they were taking action to combat the “LGBT lobby,” which they alleged “has become a global problem.”

In a tweet Monday, Mican wrote (translated from Turkish): “The fact that tens of thousands of people from all walks of life came together to put a stop to #LGBTdayatması (#LGBTimposition) and draw attention to the danger is an indication of how much our ‘Necip Nation’ values (a reference to Necip Fazil Kisakürek, Turkish poet, novelist, playwright, and Islamist ideologue) his family and generation. No lobby can bring this strong will to its knees, biiznillah! (Will of Allah.)

The anti-LGBTQ rights were organized by Mican, Ersin Çelik and non-governmental organizations. The march, in which 150 NGOs participated, had a great impact organizers claimed.

Ersin Çelik, a writer for a conservative, Islamist Turkish daily newspaper, Yeni Şafak, has been fighting against LGBTQ rights and making efforts to what he has said on his social media accounts is to “protect young people and children from this trap,” called for the march on his social media account.

Mican and other organizers had also circulated a video prior to Sunday’s rally that showed clips from previously LGBTQ Pride parades, which was then also broadcast as a public service announcement by Turkish state media, prompting an angered response from the country’s LGBTQ advocacy groups and activists.

Others who supported the rally included a popular female Turkish writer known by her pseudonym of Tahteşşuûr who tweeted: “LGBT looking for children to recruit! God damn you. #LGBTdayatması (#LGBTimposition.)”

This year, hundreds of LGBTQ people, allies, and supporters took to the streets of Istanbul this past June in defiance of the Turkish government’s ongoing 2014 ban of LGBTQ Pride parades and Pride Month festivities. Protestors violently clashed repeatedly with police and security forces in various neighborhoods located around the Bol Ahenk Sokak and other sections of the central downtown areas.

Government security forces arrested more than 373 people and the largest Turkish LGBTQ activist group, the Ankara-based Kaos GL, documented the arrests and clashes which occurred prior to the 5 p.m. planned parade kick-off in a series of Twitter posts.

Turkish Media Independent Media/News Outlet Ahval has reported that Turkey’s LGBTQ groups accuse the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of waging a “hate campaign” against them, encouraging violence against a vulnerable community.

Turkey has ranked second worst country in the European Union for LGBTQ people, scoring only above Azerbaijan, according the 2022 “Rainbow Europe” ranking compiled by Brussels-based ILGA-Europe.

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