Brazil’s largest newspaper Folha de S. Paulo published a massive front page photo of the gay kiss from a Marvel Avengers comic book series banned by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro last week. The move came as the Supreme Court blocked the mayor from removing the books from city shelves.
Officials in Rio de Janeiro, led by mayor Marcelo Crivella, banned the comic book series Avengers: The Children’s Crusade because of a kiss between two male characters.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Rio de Janeiro mayor Marcelo Crivella has announced that the translated edition of the Marvel comic book series Avengers: The Children’s Crusade would be removed from the literary festival Riocentro Bienal do Livro so as to protect the city’s children from what he described as “sexual content for minors.” The so-called sexual content in question is an on-panel kiss between two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, who are in committed relationship. Both characters are clothed in the scene.”
The series has been available there for a number of years so the announcement was abrupt and unexpected, made in a Twitter announcement by Crivella. In the announcement, which followed an Instagram post from a city councilman irate about the book, Crivella said he was protecting the minors of the city.
On Sunday, Brazil’s Supreme Court blocked Crivella’s efforts, the AP reports: “Federal Attorney General Raquel Dodge challenged the move by Crivella, a former evangelical pastor. She said allowing the mayor to remove books goes against freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas. A lower court sided with Crivella. But chief justice José Dias Toffoli ruled in favor of Dodge on Sunday, blocking the mayor from removing any books. Crivella’s office said he will appeal to the full court.”
The censorship comes amid a broader crackdown by far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he plans to eliminate all LGBTQ content from schools, tweeted an explicit photo of gay sex to denounce the country’s annual Carnival, and has said he won’t let Brazil become a gay tourism paradise.