Brazilian President's Pro-Gay Remarks Draw Criticism

Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, drew criticism from pro-family groups this past week after he said those opposed to homosexuality were intolerant and suffered from radical mental diseases.

Opposition to homosexuality is "perhaps the most perverse disease impregnated in the human head," the president told a cheering crowd during the First National Conference of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals in Brasilia.

The president further drew the ire of pro-family groups after he told the audience that he would take strong measures and "do all that is possible" to criminalize "homophobia" and approve civil unions.

Larry Jacobs, global coordinator of the World Congress of Families, said that the recent remarks by the Brazilian president were a new low for a head of state.

These remarks are "a direct assault on religion and the family," he said in a statement.

"Lula has gone further than any other head of state to align himself with the most radical elements of the international homosexual movement," he explained.

"Now he's saying that opposition to perversion is worse than racism, anti-Semitism or the totalitarian impulse," he added.

Jacobs said that it was important for pro-family groups around the world to unite and resist those in support of the pro-homosexual agenda.

"This has always been the ultimate goal of the international homosexual movement: to make opposition to homosexuality a crime - to suppress free speech and criminalize dissent," he said.

The First National Conference of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals in Brasilia was held from June 5 to 8 and was the first event of its type in the world to be convened by a government.

The World Congress of Families, one of the largest international family advocate organizations active throughout the world, works to promote the values of the traditional family as the "basis of all healthy and progressive civilizations."