Brazilian Evangelical Leader: I’m LGBT Rights’ Worst Enemy
Silas Malafaia, 53, is a household name for millions of people in Brazil. The Evangelist has sold millions of books and even has a television show that airs in several countries, including the United States. Now he’s claiming to be the gay community’s public enemy #1.
Malafaia has been able to conjure up a large following through his churches and enterprises that echo his Pentecostal preaching. In addition, the Evangelical leader has publically spoken against a number of Brazil’s social issues, such as gay rights, abortion and the decriminalization of marijuana.
"I’m the public enemy No. 1 of the gay movement in Brazil," Malafaia said in a New York Times article.
Malafaia is known for his outrageous language. In November, Epoca magazine claims that during an intense argument between Toni Reis, a gay-rights leader in Brazil, Malafaia said he would take legal action against Reis and "fornicate" him. Malafia, however, says that he said "funicate," claiming that it is slang roughly translated as "trounce."
Despite Malafai’s wishes, Brazil has progressed steadily when it comes to LGBT rights. In 2004, Rio Grande do Sul allowed same-sex couples to register civil unions after a court decision in March of the same year. In 2010, the Superior Court of Justice of Brazil ruled to allow gay couples to have the right to adopt children.
In May of this year, the Supremo Tribunal Federal unanimously extended the Stable Unions institute to same-sex couples, which redefined the definition of family and provided them with 112 rights. June marked the first time that a same-sex civil union that was converted into a same-sex marriage in Brazil.