A lawsuit filed against Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro for statements made in March 2011 during a TV show at the time he was a deputy Monday reached the country's Federal Superior Court (STF).
If convicted, Bolsonaro may end up having to pay a fine of up to R $ (around US $ 30,000) for homophobic speech.
When asked what he would do if he had a homosexual son, he replied that the thought had never even crossed his mind “because they have had a good education; I was a present father and I don't run that risk.”
Asked if he would join a parade of people who are attracted to others of the same sex, Bolsonaro said that he would not participate in the promotion of bad habits because he believes in God. I have a family and the family has to be preserved at any cost or the nation will just collapse, he had argued.
For these remarks, Bolsonaro has already been found guilty by a court of appeals and now the case has reached the highest court possible.
Bolsonaro's defence team maintains his words and opinions were protected by the inviolability that the Constitution confers on the speech of parliamentarians.
Compensation for moral damages was requested, through public civil action, by three associations in favour of the rights of LGBT + people: the Rainbow Group for Homosexual Awareness, the Cabo Free Group for Homosexual Awareness and the Fight against Homophobia and the Diversidad Niterói Group. All three groups are from the state of Rio de Janeiro, where Bolsonaro used to reside before moving to Brasilia to discharge the duties of President.
If convicted, the former Army captain should be forced to pay R $ of his own money to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security's Fund for the Defense of Diffuse Rights.
Bolsonaro was convicted by the lower court and then in a 3-2 decision the appellate court upheld his conviction.
Meanwhile, the 19th legal case against former President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva was shelved Monday. There is only one case pending for the former leader, who most polls regard as returning to the presidency after the October 2022 elections.
A judge filed an open investigation against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for alleged crimes of corruption and influence peddling, Lula's press office reported on Monday.
Sao Paulo Judge María Carolina Ayoub's decision is a new step towards Lula's candidacy next year because if convicted on any of those charges he would not be eligible to run for office.
Like Bolsonaro's case, these particular charges against Lula date back to 2011, when he was no longer president.
Judge Ayoub based her decision on the lack of enough elements with which to move forward and some of the alleged crimes have been already reached by the statute of limitations.
Lula has now only one case in court in which he is also accused of using his influence with then-President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016) to decide on the purchase of 36 Gripen model fighter jets from the Swedish company Saab.