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Brazilian Archbishop's Hate Speech Sparks Debate

By Ernest S. Barteldes
Special from Brazil to GayToday

brazilchurch.jpg - 12.46 K Fortaleza , Brazil--According to Thursday's edition of O Povo, the local attorney general has notified the Archbishop of Fortaleza, D. Jose Antonio Aparecido Tosi, that he will have to explain his declarations in Monday's issue of the paper in which he said that homosexuality is "a deformation" of human nature, and compared same-sex lovemaking to homicidal tendencies.

The notification was made following requests from Grupo Gay de Alagoas and also from The Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transvestites, whose dismay over the archbishop's interview now finds them prepared to press a civil action suit against him.

Fortaleza's attorney general, Adonis Callou, says that the archbishop has committed no crime, since there are no laws against sexual prejudice, but the Archbishop may (not the diocese) be liable to face a civil action for moral damages.

"We will first listen to the archbishop's defense", he stated, "and then we will decide if public action is suitable."

According to Monsignor Antonio Souto, general vicar for Fortaleza, the archbishop's declarations were based on Roman Catholic doctrine. He stated: "homosexualism is, in fact, a deformation, such as sadism, masochism and nymphomania. I do not offend anyone with such statement."

Asked about the possible lawsuit, the clergyman said the gay organizations "just want to call attention for their cause. He concludes by saying: "If they feel like suing us, fine. I don't care."

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Brazilian Archbishop Compares Gay Lovemaking to Murder

Another Unembarrassed Ignoramus

Roman Catholic Cardinal Promotes Vicious Bigotry

Related Sites:
O Povo Magazine

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Local lawyers point out that the archbishop, under the country's laws, might in fact have to face civil charges for his words, under the grounds that he "has hurt the honor of such organizations." If a lawsuit materializes, the lawyers suggest that a court-assisted settlement might be the best way to avoid "judicial pains."

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