Congratulations to Tyler Valiquette from the University of Guelph, who’s our most recent Lambda winner!
Tyler Valiquette is a MA student in International Development and Political Science at the University of Guelph. Tyler has worked at every level of politics: student, municipal, provincial and federal. He is also the co-founder of the national non-profit, Vote Savvy, which seeks to advocate for, and enrage youth in the world of Canadian Politics.
Additionally, Tyler worked as an executive at the Central Student Association.. His work focused on social issues, with special attention to campaigns based on sexual assault awareness, equity, anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia. He also sat as a member of the Human Rights Advisory Group, was a member of the Canadian Federation of Students queer constituency group, and was recently elected CUPE 3913’s Queer Executive Chair.
Tyler’s passion for pursuing research in LGBT Rights was solidified through personal experience and travel. Hearing and witnessing discrimination and prejudice, and seeing how it impacted his friends and loved ones abroad triggered his background in social justice to study LGBT rights from an academic perspective.
Description of Research
Despite Brazil’s history of LGBT rights and activism, scholars have identified a growth in violence toward the LGBT population. The country has seen a rise in murders of LGBT people from 260 in 2010 to 326 in 2014. According to the Gay Group of Bahia, 44% of the world’s LGBT violence occurs in Brazil (2015). Despite this rise, Brazilian senators continue to stall legislation to protect LGBT folk. In 2008, the Brazilian federal legislature proposed bill 122/06 to render sexual orientation forbidden grounds for discrimination; however, this bill remains pending today. Additionally, the current government, under President Dilma Rouseff, cancelled the “Brazil Without Homophobia” program, and Eduardo Cunha, the leader of the Chamber of Deputies and one of the most outspoken politicians against LGBT rights, leads an ongoing campaign to outlaw gay adoption, as well as legally re-define the family, a direct attack on the supreme courts decision to allow same sex marriage.
Scholars have found that opposition to LGBT rights in Brazil is primarily rooted in religious conservatism, specifically the Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches, which are forceful in their opposition. Moreover, 3% of the Brazilian population was affiliated with a Protestant faith in 1950. However, by 2010, over 22% of the population was affiliated with a Protestant group. Politicians with links to these Churches have more than doubled from 50 in 1987 to 104 in 2000. They now control one of the most powerful voting blocs in the congress and senate.
Thus, the question this research seeks to answer is: To what extent can the stalling of bill 122/06, adding sexual orientation to the definition of anti-discrimination, be linked to religious conservatism in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate? And how does religious conservatism influence policy in the Chamber of Deputies in comparison to the Senate