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By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Thousands of demonstrators gathered in sixteen Brazilian cities on Saturday, March 9th, continuing the protests against the recent election of Marco Feliciano as President of the Human Rights Commission. A controversial figure, Rep. Feliciano (PSC-SP) is a evangelical pastor accused of making homophobic and racist statements as well as being currently under investigation for embezzlement charges.

Pastor Marco Feliciano, Brazil News
Protests as Pastor Marco Feliciano (PSC-SP) was elected to head the Commission for Human Rights, José Cruz/ABr.

Feliciano was elected as President of the Brazilian House of Representatives’ Human Rights Committee by a positive vote from eleven of the committee’s eighteen members during a session closed to the public held on Thursday, March 7th.

The action immediately sparked a public outcry with an online petition demanding his removal appeared only minutes after the election.

Earlier this year in January, Attorney General of the Republic, Roberto Gurgel, charged Feliciano with discrimination for a 2011 Twitter message which read in part, “The rot of homosexual feelings lead to hatred, crime, rejection.” The message, Grugel argued, “reveals the inducement to discrimination.”

Feliciano had also stirred up controversy with another Twitter message in 2011 that stated, “On the African continent lies the curse of paganism, occultism, misery, diseases originating from there: ebola, AIDS, hunger … Etc.”

“We organized the movement because of Feliciano’s statement that blacks and homosexuals are cursed,”Luiz Ricarte, São Paulo protest organizer and member of Movimento de Combate à Homofobia de Guarulhos told O Globo.

In São Paulo, between 650 and 800 protesters assembled partially blocking traffic near Avenida Paulista on Saturday afternoon while in Rio de Janeiro 300 to 400 people assembled in Centro in front of the City Council.

“I am a Christian and Feliciano does not represent many of the evangelicals,” said 21-year-old speaker and one of the organizers of the protest in Rio, Beatriz Pimentel Ferreira.

When questioned about the accusations of Feliciano being homophobic and racist, Pastor Everaldo Dias Pereira, chief executive of the PSC, told O Globo on earlier on Friday, “Our Christian principle is that marriage is between man and woman. We keep it. If one wants to be homosexual, that is her problem. It is free will. But respect what we think.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. […] -In Brazil, former soccer player and current politician Romário is calling on Brazil’s Truth Commission to investigate Brazilian Football Confederation official Jose Maria Marin for his possible role in the murder of journalist Vladimir Herzog in 1977 during Brazil’s military dictatorship. Meanwhile, in another reminder of how broken Brazil’s legislative branch is, evangelical minister and congressman Marco Feliciano, who has openly made racist and homophobic comments in the past, was chosen to head Congress’s Human Rights Commission. […]

  2. […] as idiots who are their source of entertainment and income. The latest joke was the election of Marco Feliciano as President of the Human Rights and Minorities Commission. Feliciano is a Minister of one of the […]

  3. […] which have gained significant political influence. The most egregious example of this trend is the ascendancy of Pastor Marco Feliciano who was appointed in March 2013 to the Congressional Human Rights Commission. Feliciano led the […]

  4. […] most egregious example of this trend is the ascendancy of Pastor Marco Feliciano who, as an outcome of political negotiations, was appointed in March 2013 to the Congressional […]

  5. […] remarks, whose appointment as chair of the legislature’s Human Rights Committee this spring spawned protests of its own. “Feliciano, we didn’t forget you,” one sign warned this week. “We’re fixing one shitshow […]

  6. Brazilian Protests Continue To Escalate, Offering A Lesson To Soccer’s Governing Body And The World | News Times Today

    […] extremist remarks, whose appointment as chair of a legislature’s Human Rights Committee this open spawned protests of a own. “Feliciano, we didn’t forget you,” one pointer warned this week. “We’re regulating one […]

  7. […] most egregious example of this trend is the ascendancy of Pastor Marco Feliciano who, as an outcome of political negotiations, was appointed in March 2013 to the Congressional […]

  8. […] most egregious example of this trend is the ascendancy of Pastor Marco Feliciano who, as an outcome of political negotiations, was appointed in March 2013 to the Congressional […]

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