'Lula is God' Comment by Brazilian Gay Activist Senator Sparks Reaction From Evangelicals

A longstanding advocate of LGBT rights in Brazil, Senator Marta Suplicy, has sparked backlash from evangelical Christians after her statement that Lula, the former president, is "god."

"Lula is god, I am who does, and Dilma has good reputation," Suplicy said, referring to the power she believes the three representatives will have for their party (PT) to win the 2012 mayoral and city councillor elections.

She made the statement on the say she was taking over the role of Ministry of Culture, replacing Ana de Hollanda, who was fired after complaining about the Cultural Ministry's low budget.

"So, with the entry of trio (Lula, Dilma and Suplicy), it will work. I promised that I would come in at right time and now I am coming in," she added.

However, Congressman and Pastor Marco Feliciano, who has been involved in the ongoing debate between gay activists and evangelicals, strongly criticized her posture.

"It is an arrogant trinity," said Feliciano, referring to the trio "Lula, Dilma and Marta."

"Marta and her heresies. The arrogance precedes the fall," he wrote in a micro blog.

"Marta Suplicy, assumed gay activist, always ridicules those who have faith, and now says that 'Lula is god.' In which planet? This statement is more than stupid," he concluded.

The senator has been asked whether there was a sense of revenge in her comeback, after she was previously replaced in the elections for Mayor of Sao Paulo.

She has denied any sense of revenge, but has said that the previous incident had made her sad.

"I became sad when it happened and I didn't hide it from anyone. But I have said: in time I think I will make a difference," she answered.

Suplicy was a key person in attempts by gay activists to implement widely criticized gay material against homophobia in public schools, as well as a motion to criminalize "homophobia" in the country. The material was suspended by Dilma Rousseff after pressured by Christian deputies earlier this year, but the so called PLC 122 "homophobia" bill is still pending in the Brazilian Congress.

Some have suggested that now Suplicy has taken on the role of Minister of Culture, she could cause a "headache" for evangelical Christians in the country, according to Feliciano.

Evangelicals, who recently expressed their happiness at the approval of a bill that recognized gospel music as a cultural expression, are now said to be "tense" and nervous over what to expect from Suplicy.