BRAZIL: Pastor Silas Malafaia sues Human Rights activist Toni Reis
|Pastor Silas Malafaia|
Below, you'll find a note released by Dignity Group (Grupo Dignidade), which I've just translated into English, keeping it as faithful as I possibly could to the original.
However, I've been told that it is hard to understand the case. So, I decided to offer my readers a summary by myself. Those interested in the note itself will find it below.
|Translated and summarized by Sergio Viula|
Silas Malafaia is a pastor of the Assemblies of God in Brazil. His central office is in Rio de Janeiro. An openly opponent of the LGBT rights, Malafaia has been attacking the LGBT movement for quite a long time now. Not only has he preached against it, but also promoted actions against it through politicians faithful to him.
The Brazilian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transexual Association (ABGLT) has prosecuted him for promoting hatred speech against LGBT people, especially after the 15th LGBT Parade of São Paulo, when Malafaia said that gays should be beaten with a stick to learn a shame lesson (see his own words in the release below). He was allegedly defending the holiness of the Catholic saints (an Evangelical pastor? - tell me about it), whose images had been used as a publicity piece for HIV prevention, which was kind of a response to the Catholic preaching against condoms.
Malafaia countered that prosecution by taking action against Toni Reis, former president of ABGLT, who had taken the case to Justice first of all. The pastor is playing the victim of an alleged orchestrated campaign launched against him by the LGBT movement as if he had the right to harass LGBT people on nationwide open TV networks and get away with it.
Toni Reis has been notified by court to respond to Malafaia's accusations before the case proceeds. That's what he's going to do within he 10-day term assigned by Justice.
We, the LGBT community, come out to say that we trust Brazilian Justice and that we believe it will enhance the right to personal dignity as the Federal Constitution sets up.
Pastor Silas Malafaia sues Human Rights activist Toni Reis
by Sergio Viula
The pastor's criminal complaint was submitted to the 16th Criminal Special Court of Rio de Janeiro, being denied at first.
Malafaia claims he's been a victim of defamation and insult, requiring Toni and ABGLT to be held responsible and condemned by Justice for denouncing his homophobic statements. The pastor has appealed from the Court's negative decision, always claiming that he has the right to consider homosexuals as sinners.
Understand the case: "Beating with a stick"
The publicity pieces included saints of popular devotion in sensual attitudes.
The Catholic Church reacted. In an article issued two days after that, in the official jornal of the Archdiocese of São Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Scherer stated: “We felt sad when we saw saints' images being used with debauchery", but he went on with his message arguing that homosexuality is not an "option" and defending celibacy as the best way to avoid HIV infection.
“The guys on the Gay Parade ridiculed symbols of the Catholic Church and nobody says anything. The Catholic Church should have hit those guys with a stick, you know? (note: using a Brazilian slang) 'Beat those guys with a stick so they will learn. That's a shame.”
Federal Public Ministry (MPF) against Malafaia
In May, 2012, Federal Judge of the 24th Civil Court of São Paulo, Victorio Giuzio Neto, announced the extinction of the action taken by the Federal Ministry.
The Regional Prosecutor of Citizens' Rights, Jefferson Aparecido Dias, appealed from the decision and the case was sent to the cabinet of Jude Cecilia Marcondes, where it awaits to be judged.
[Defendant Silas Lima Malafaia's statements] have clear homophobic content, inciting violence against homosexuals, disrespecting their fundamental rights based on the dignity of the human person. Although there is worship freedom and freedom of speech, also previewed by Federal Constitution, the manifestation of thought cannot be used as a justification to the breaching of the fundamental rights of others.
Malafaia's criminal report: I am offended by gay activists.
The lawyer goes on:
"An attitude that can only be regretted, groups and movements associated to the protection of the interests of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transexuals have been promoting a solid and oriented campaign against the offended [Silas Malafaia] who, unjustifiably and unreasonably have been assigned the position of an adversary." .