On Tuesday, September 3rd, JMB has Twitted that he mandated the Minister of Education to draft bill to prohibit the diffusion of “gender ideology” in public schools at the primary level (read in Portuguese). He based his request on an opinion issued by the Union’s Attorney’s Office in response to an anti-constitutional claim raised against a municipal level antigender law.
“The Union Attorney’s Office decided it is a federal competence to legislate on GENDER IDEOLOGY. I have determined the Ministry of Education, aiming at the comprehensive protection of the CHILD, as established in our Constitution, to prepare a draft bill that will prohibit gender ideology in middle school”.
This is the first time that JMB openly requests antigender legislation to be drafted. However, since 2015, other 16 anti-gender draft bills have been tabled at the House, a large number of them tabled in the 2019 legislature by parliamentarians from JMB congressional base. Six of these provisions are aimed at imposing criminal sanctions on the diffusion of “gender ideology”. SPW has prepared a brief report.
The potential tabling of a law provision proposed by the Executive branch will raise the relevance of the matter in Congress and propel the processing these other propositions (including through merging). This request may also open the grounds for restrictions to be extended to other levels of education.
Concurrently, João Doria (PSDB), governor of São Paulo, who competes with JMB for the conservative electorate, has also used the opportunity to tweet against “gender education” and ordered the suspension of a science textbook that addressed sexually infectious diseases, condom use, teenage pregnancy, sexual diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity (read in Portuguese). Before that, Carlos Moisés, governor of Santa Catarina, who is a member of PSL (JMB’s party) posted a video on YouTube declaring that he will prohibit “gender ideology” in the public education system. In response, eleven national science and human rights organizations signed a manifesto to decry against his measure:
“We fear that by giving in to fundamentalist pressures that have nothing to do with qualified debates promoted by education professionals, the government is starting a movement against the democratic, scientific, and prejudice-free school we all stand for (read in Portuguese)”.
It does not seem accidental that JMB vicious attack on gender materialized exactly when the results of the last Datafolha opinion poll has shown that his administration disapproval increased from 33 to 38 percent since July. The disapproval is wider amongst women (43 percent), black voters (51 percent), people living in the Northeast (52 percent), unemployed (48 percent) and Brazilians earning more than 10 minimum wages (46 percent) (read on Folha de São Paulo).
Published in Sexuality Policy Watch