President Donald Trump is set to meet historically anti-LGBTQ Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” today (March 19) at the White House, according to ABC News.
As part of his three-day visit, Bolsonaro will meet privately and press conference with Trump to strengthen economic ties between the countries. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the leaders will discuss “opportunities for defense cooperation, pro-growth trade policies, combatting transnational crime, and restoring democracy in Venezuela.”
“For the first time in a while, a pro-American Brazilian president arrives in D.C.,” Bolsonaro tweeted when he arrived in when he arrived in Washington on Sunday (March 17). “It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity – something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for.”
Bolsonaro has a long history of attacking the LGBTQ community. He has repeatedly said he’d prefer his son to die in an accident than be gay. He also claimed that LGBTQ rights activists wanted to recruit children for sex, bragged he would “beat up” two men who were kissing on the street, and supported a father who beat his 8-year-old son to death for having effeminate traits.
“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a tyrant who has condoned violence against LGBTQ people, even if it means death,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the President and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “Americans should be disturbed that the President of the United States is holding meetings with Bolsonaro and choosing to set a dangerous precedent by normalizing an anti-LGBTQ tyrant.”
GLAAD claimed in a statement that the “toxic” rhetoric surrounding the LGBTQ community of Bolsonaro is similar to that of President Trump, who has issued 97 attacks on the LGBTQ community during his presidency.