On September 19, 2017, federal judge Justice Waldemar Cláudio de Carvalho amended a 1999 resolution of the National Psychology Council (CFP), which prohibited controversial ‘sexual reversal’ treatments in Brazil. Now, the CFP will be unable to prevent or punish any medical professional from treating homosexuality as a curable disease. The decision, result of a civil lawsuit brought by an Evangelical ex-psychologist, has caused significant backlash from the Brazilian population, particularly on social media.
The hashtag #HomofobiaÉDoença (Homophobia Is a Disease) ranked among the world’s top trending topics, while Brazilian celebrities registered their disgust at Monday’s ruling.
Likewise, Ivete Sangalo, one of the country’s most famous singers, declared that “the sick ones are those who believe in this nonsense [sexual reversal treatment]. …We’re trying to be strong, be optimistic [and now the government] turns around and says homosexuality is a disease.”
Likewise, Brazilian pop star Anitta declared her outrage on her Instagram, stating, “Brazil is tearing itself apart, and the authorities are worried about who we want to have relationships with. This needs to stop.”
While the ruling does not overtly reclassify homosexuality as a disease (the World Health Organization declassified it as a mental disorder in 1990) it does mean Brazilian psychologists treating it as such will be free to do so and avoid punishment.
According to Justice Carvalho, by prohibiting these so called “sexual reversal” treatments, the 1999 CFP resolution “affects the country’s scientific freedom” and consequently “impairs the investigation into a very important aspect of psychology—human sexuality.”
Meanwhile, in a press release, the CFP declared that the ruling “opens a dangerous precedent” and represents a major step back in LGBT civil rights and acceptance, underlining that the CFP will not be used as “a tool to promote suffering, prejudice, intolerance and exclusion.”
This decision comes at a time when Brazil’s current moment is one of rising conservatism and reactionary politics. Earlier in September, a Porto Alegre art exhibition was cancelled after protests from far-right groups, which claimed the exhibition (featuring themes of LGBT rights and sexual diversity) was blasphemous and advocated pedophilia and bestiality.
Meanwhile, with the 2018 presidential election on the horizon, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro—known for his inflammatory remarks and regularly accused of racist, sexist, and homophobic views—is polling highly.
It is important to remember that this ruling is a temporary injunction, meaning that the 1999 resolution is far from definitively repealed. The CFP is preparing its appeal, and mass protests have been scheduled across the country.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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