Thousands of demonstrators on Friday
gathered in downtown Sao Paulo to protest a recent ruling that
overturns an 18-year ban on therapies that attempt to alter the
sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
According to the Los
Angeles Times, the protesters waved rainbow flags and chanted
“it's not a disease” over songs including Lady Gaga's Born
One of the protesters, Carlos Daniel,
said that the decision threatens the lives of LGBT people.
“We have to help people understand
that this decision wasn't something small,” he said. “These
types of thoughts are what get us killed here in Brazil every day.
We are dehumanized and treated like objects. We have to show
everyone that we exist and that the future is ours.”
The decision involves an evangelical
Christian and psychologist whose license was revoked in 2016 for
offering “conversion” therapy in defiance of a 1999 decision by
the Federal Council of Psychology that banned such treatments.
Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge
in the capital of Brasilia, sided with Rozangela Justino, who has
said that she views homosexuality as a “disease.” Carvalho has
since said in a statement that he does not believe homosexuality is a
The Federal Council of Psychology
criticized the ruling in a statement, saying that it “opens the
dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies.”
The group said it would appeal the decision.
“There is no way to cure what is not
a disease,” Council president Rogerio Giannini told
“It is not a serious, academic debate. It is a debate connected
to religious or conservative positions.”
Evangelical Christian groups opposed to
LGBT rights have seen steady political gains in Brazil and routinely
protest television shows that feature gay or transgender characters.