Brazil and the United States are diverse countries. Each has their own culture, but are more alike than one may realize.
Same-Sex marriage in the US expanded from one state in 2004 to all 50 states in 2015. Brazil legalized same-sex marriages in 2013. Yes, this is an enormous accomplishment; however, there are still too many people, especially in US, in positions of political office and business who make decisions for “We the People”.
In making those decisions affecting us, many find it difficult to separate their personal beliefs from their public duties – which means that they need to respect differences. Our differences. (Like a cartoon in this publication once noted: If you think homosexuality is wrong, then don’t be a homo. Doesn’t sound like a good idea for you. But you don’t get to make that decision for anyone else.)
We often observe that the actions of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVose and business leaders encourage discrimination based on their “chosen” religious beliefs. A similar situation has recently occurred in Brazil where a Marvel's Avengers storyline has sparked a major censorship controversy in Rio De Janeiro.
According to reports from Brazilian media, Rio's Mayor Marcelo Crivella tried to take on it upon himself to remove the sale of Avengers: The Children's Crusade graphic novel from the 19th International Book Biennial. The event took place in his city.
Crivella reportedly cited The Children's Crusade's for having "sexual content for minors" in the form of a scene wheretwo male characters (Wiccan and Hulkling) kiss. That kiss scene prompted Crivella to order booksellers to pull all copies of publication. He thought he was protecting Rio’s youth.
Booksellers reportedly refused to acquiesce – and, in fact, copies of The Children's Crusade began selling out of stock. The book-buying public’s rebuke of the mayor's order subsequently pushed Crivella to a more drastic step. He sent law enforcement officials into the event to either forcibly censor or confiscate material deemed "inappropriate" or "pornographic."
As GLOBOreports (via translation):
"RIO - In the early afternoon of Friday, ten employees of the Municipal Secretariat of Public Order (SEOP) arrived at the Book Biennial, which is being held at Riocentro, to identify and seal books considered "improper"."
As a countermeasure to the mayor's aggressive pursuit of censorship, the book festival filed, "a request for a preventive injunction with the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice to ensure the full functioning of the event and the right of exhibitors to commercialize literary works on the most diverse subjects - as foreseen by the Brazilian legislation."
A statement was issued by SEOP's chief, Wolney Dias, who seems to back Mayor Crivella's stance by splitting hairs over the semantics of censorship: "City hall has police power for that. If the material is not following the recommendations, it will be collected. We are following the guidance of the city prosecutor's office. I do not understand that there is censorship. If it is pornographic material, offered without the standards, it will be collected."
According to Out Magazine; The Supreme Court of Brazil has issued a strong rebuke to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella’s attempts to remove Avengers: The Children’s Crusadefrom the event over a gay kiss. The court ruled that officials cannot target LGBT publications for censorship.
According to the court, Crivella’s actions violated the constitution’s guarantee of equal protection for all; “something USA has not accomplished yet,” and the court issued an injunction against attempts to confiscate the comic.
The mayor’s attempt to ban The Children’s Crusade has backfired in every possible way. Increased interest in the volume led to all copies selling out before the event even began. Ironically, the comic is a story nearly a decade old.
It helped establish the Young Avengers as a team geared toward the Millennial generation, and “wasn't afraid” to tackle subjects its predecessors rarely touched upon, like sexuality.
More than ever before, comic books tackle many issues that lead to human ignorance and different types of discrimination. They show the reader how to overcome these negative social behaviors and learn how to be a better human by embracing the unfamiliar.
Meanwhile, in the US Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are trying to ban marriage equality reports Alex Bollinger for LGBTQ Nation. One of them got so upset at a constituent complaint that he told the constituent to “tell it to Satan.” State assembly Republicans are trying to pass HB 65, also known as the Marriage Reaffirmation Amendment Act. The bill would ban marriage equality in the state and tell state officials to ignore the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. See what I mean by elected officials trying to make decisions for “We the People”?