Christian TV programmes that mention the Bible’s teaching on homosexual conduct face being banned from daytime viewing by the Brazilian government.
The government has already proposed that a notice should be broadcast before such Christian programmes, warning viewers that the shows are not recommended for people under the age of 18.
Brazil’s Justice Secretary told a newspaper there that while such programmes would be restricted to after 11pm, “the ideal is that they not be shown at any time.”
A critic of the move, Peter LaBarbera, said: “It seems that the Brazilian government is moving towards a pro-homosexual totalitarianism which directly impinges on the rights of Christians to be Christian.”
Pro-family campaigner Julio Severo said: “Catholic radio and TV shows now run the risk of being rated as ‘morally harmful,’ ‘homophobic’ and ‘unsuitable for children and teens’.”
If the policy is carried out in accordance with Brazilian President Luiz Lula’s definition of “homophobia,” the new restrictions will effectively ban public statements on television that identify homosexual behaviour as sinful or unhealthy.
President Lula is also seeking to pass an “anti-homophobia” law that would ban any public criticism of homosexuals or homosexual behaviour.
He recently reiterated his commitment to “criminalise words or acts that are offensive to homosexuality”.
The British government is determined to remove a free speech clause from the offence of ‘inciting hatred on grounds of sexual orientation’.
The clause makes clear that mere criticism of homosexual conduct is not, in itself, a crime. It was approved by Parliament last year but Gordon Brown’s government wants to remove it.