Marcelo Crivella, bishop of Brazil’s Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, was elected Mayor of Rio de Janeiro this week with nearly 60 percent of the city’s vote. The right-wing politician also has an extensive record of anti-LGBT views, according to PinkNews.
In the past, Crivella has categorized homosexuality as a sin, classifying it as a “terrible ail” in his book “Evangelizing Africa,” CNN reports.
Rio de Janeiro has traditionally been a progressive city, hosting the LGBT-centered Carnival and Pride Parade every year, as well as being home to the 2016 Summer Olympics — which had a record-breaking 55 out-LGBT athletes.
Crivella’s win, however, has the city’s activists worried about the future of LGBT rights.
“I think he represents very risky climate that is going on and growing really fast in Brazilian society,” Lesbian activist Jindera Queiroz told Public Radio International(PRI).
Veriano Terto, activist and researcher at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association, believes that Crivella will prioritize religious rights over human rights, thus harming progress made for the LGBT community.
“Check some of his recent speeches on homosexuality,” Terto told PRI. “You’ll see that he says things like ‘homosexuality is OK, but we cannot forbid the religious people to say that homosexuality is a sin, that it’s something perverted, dirty, that should be condemned.’”
Queiroz, Terto and other activists in Rio have voiced fear that AIDS and HIV funding and outreach could be cut under the new administration, or that police mistreatment of the LGBT community in Rio will only get worse if left unchecked.