O ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO (Brazil)
SÃO PAULO - The election of a new President of the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies typically wouldn't make much of a splash. But the brand new President, Marco Feliciano, an evangelical pastor, happens to already be well-known for making racist and homophobic comments.
Strange profile indeed for such a posting.
O Estado de São Paulo newspaper reports that in 2011, Feliciano's statements on Twitter on homosexuals and Africa became well-known across Brazil. He wrote that “rotten feelings” between same-sex people leads to “hate, crime and rejection,” and that African descendents are “cursed”.
“Africans descend from an ancestor cursed by Noah. This is a fact,” he wrote. “Noah's curse on his grandson, Canaan, lingers in Africa, therefore leading to all the hunger, diseases, ethnic wars.”
André Moura, leader of Christian Party, to which Feliciano belongs, told O Estado that the comments shouldn't affect his new role. “These opinions do not mean he will be biased leading the commission," he said.
Felicano told O Estado.“Africa has a spiritual problem. We can fight it with prayers. It could have happened to another continent, but it did there. I just mentioned a religious text to those who want to learn it. The rest is people's evil character,”
Deputy Nilmário Miranda, who was Secretary for Human Rights in Brazil's previous government, admits the situation is problematic. “His statements go against his work in this commission,” he says. Felicano defends himself saying the commission has spent too much time on gay-related issues, leaving aside other minorities such as children and native Brazilians.