Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

The Anti-Homophobia Bill (PLC 122) in Brazil: Conspiracies and Conflicts Between the Constitution and the Bible

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Abstract:  Despite the growing violence against LGBTQ people nationwide, the National Congress of Brazil has failed to pass any legislation protecting LGBTQ rights. The executive and judiciary have compensated for this legislative gap by protecting LGBTQ rights through palliative LGBTQ policies. By historically analyzing the anti-homophobia bill PLC 122 and presenting a discourse analysis of ten anti-LGBTQ rights bills, as well as the results of semi-structured interviews with key actors involved in the billing process (2001–2021), this article seeks to unpack why and how the anti-homophobia bill was never approved in Congress. In part, Congress’ delay in approving the anti-homophobia bill is due to conservative opposition, a weak coalition between the executive and legislative branches of government, and the fact that more religious parliamentarians are represented in politics. As a result, LGBTQ bills introduced to Congress have become political weapons used by conservative and fundamentalist religious politicians as part of electoral campaign strategies. The anti-homophobia bill has opened a political window where anti-LGBTQ discourses sustain conservative politics and enforce the alliance between religion and politics. Moreover, the bill has strengthened the religious and conservative discourse, policy manipulation and the emergence of conspiracy theories—framing the bill as “opposing God’s people” and as constraining the freedom of religion and spreading fear of pastors and priests being jailed. The main conclusion is that policy and political discourses oscillate between making decisions according to the Constitution or the Bible, creating constraints and opportunities for the approval of the LGBTQ bill in the Brazilian Congress.

Keywords:  conspiracy theories; discourses; evangelicals; LGBTQ; policy; radicalization; religion



© Diego Galego. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.