Brazil’s Gov’t: Televangelist Should Apologize for Anti-Gay Comments

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Saturday February 25, 2012

The popular Brazilian televangelist leader, Silas Malafaia, was asked by a federal prosecutor to retract anti-gay and violent comments he made last year, Life Site News reported.

"The people in the Gay Parade mock the symbols of the Catholic Church and no one says anything," Malafaia allegedly said. "The Catholic Church should take a stick to these guys, you know? They should lower the club on them."

The televangelist was referring to religious images that are often used in Brazil's popular gay pride parades. Malafaia allegedly defended his remarks and said that he wasn't implying violence against gays but he meant that the Church should "formulate criticisms, take legal actions."

But federal prosecutor Jefferson Aparecedio Dias disagrees and claims that Malafaia's statements are "clear homophobic content, because they incite violence against homosexuals" and "constitute hate speech, incompatible with he constitutional functions of social communication."

Aparecedio Dias is calling for Malafaia to publicly take back his remarks but the televangelist says the accusations against him are "absurd."

"I am absolutely not going to retract," he said. "The gays manipulate my statements to incriminate me, and I am the one who has to retract? This must be a joke."

This isn't the first time Malafaia has made headlines for his comments. In November, he claimed that he is the gay community's worst enemy.

"I'm the public enemy No. 1 of the gay movement in Brazil," Malafaia said in a New York Times article.

Although gay Brazilians share several of the same rights that straight citizens do, discrimination still exists and there is even an "ex-gay" movement in the country. Exodus International Latin America, a group that claims it can "cure" homosexuality through therapy, has more than a dozen ministries in Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru and Costa Rica.

Additionally, Last month gay rights groups filed a complaint with Ecuador's government's health ministry after a lesbian claimed she was held captive at an "ex-gay" clinic for 18 months.