Last week a judge in Brazil passed a law making it legal to treat homosexuality as a disease, in turn, allowing for “gay conversion therapy.” This regressive decision was met with outrage from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a fear that the growing conservative movement in Brazil will undo many progressive policies.
The fact that this ruling has been kept relatively quiet surprises me. Typically, news like this floods my timeline on every social media outlet imaginable. One Twitter user took it upon themselves bring the topic to the table.
Brazil passed a law that allows people to treat homosexuality as a disease AND NO ONE IS FUCKING TALKING ABOUT IT https://t.co/fRxxltX3vh
— luisa ☭ (@666bitchcraft) September 22, 2017
Although the tweet was liked by over 120 thousand users, I was still met with a lack of international headlines, the few headlines made coming from mostly Brazilian news outlets.
Brazil currently has a growing population of evangelic Christian’s who are allying themselves with rightwing groups. Rozangela Justino, a psychologist whose license was revoked after offering conversion therapy in 2016, encouraged the court system to bring the action to the table. Justino says she views homosexuality as a disease and “advises patients to seek religious guidance” in an interview with the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
This decision overturns the 1999 ruling from the Federal Council of Psychology that prohibits psychologists from offering treatments said to “cure” gay people. In an interview with the Guardian Rogerio Giannini, the council president stated that “there is no way to cure what is not a disease” and claimed this is an issue with religion and conservative positions.
Twitter users trended hashtags like #curagay in Brazil to ridicule and protest the decision.
— Cal 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 (@callumgray_) September 19, 2017
— Ubiratan (@ubimalanconi) September 19, 2017
Despite the trending of this hashtag, I do think topics like these should be covered by international media outlets. I feel as though the only nationalized news is whatever scandal Donald Trump has thrown himself into and other various political issues from certain European countries. That being said, if topics like this, where civil liberties of the public are threatened, were nationalized I believe a greater solution could be decided upon sooner. It opens the door for discussion and protest. Keeping these issues covered up only allows for oppression to go by undetected. Seeing news that poses a threat and compromises the lives of such a large population and essentially having the information brushed under the rug is incredibly disheartening. I hope Brazil can find a way to be a safe place for everyone.