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Brazil’s president accuses World Health Organization of turning kids gay

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil, President, antigay, bigot, anti-LGBTQ
Jair Bolsonaro takes part in the first debate of the 2018 elections for President of Brazil, at the headquarters of Band TV.Photo: Shutterstock

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of trying to turn children gay in a series of bizarre claims on Facebook. He later deleted the post.

Like the Brazilian president’s claims about COVID-19, the statements weren’t true.

Related: Trump smirks as Brazil’s far-right president says they are united against LGBTQ people

Bolsonaro, dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics,” has followed President Donald Trump’s lead and repeatedly criticized the WHO while downplaying the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“This is the World Health Organization whose advice on coronavirus some people want me to follow,” he wrote.

“Should we follow their education policy guidelines, too? For children zero to four years old: satisfaction and pleasure when touching their bodies, masturbation…. For children four to six years old: a positive gender identity… masturbation in early childhood, same-sex relations…. Nine to 12 years old: first sexual experience.”

The claim was also made by one of Bolsonaro’s top advisors on Twitter and repeated or shared by followers.

Bolsonaro appears to be referencing an education guide published by Germany’s Federal Center for Health Education and the WHO’s European office. The document acknowledges that children are discovering their bodies and will have questions about sexuality and how their body works.

Last year, Bolsonaro decried gay male tourism to his country, saying that he would prefer men who visit Brazil to have sex with women.

“If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life,” Bolsonaro said at a breakfast with journalists. “But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism.”

“We have families,” he added.

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