The State of S. Paulo reported that the Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, apologized, in testimony to the Federal Police, last Thursday (25), about the statements made in an interview with the newspaper, in which he stated that “homosexualism (sic)” is “the result of misfits families”.
The minister told investigators that he did not want to “disrespect anyone” with his speech and stated that, in his view, “the gay families are families like yours”, says Estadão.
According to the newspaper’s investigation, the next stage of the case should be a request from the rapporteur, Minister Dias Toffoli, for the General Attorney’s Office (Procuradoria-Geral da República, PGR) to send a new statement and clarify whether he wants to insist on opening an investigation.
According to the statement issued by the Federal Police, Estadão informs, Milton Ribeiro replied in the testimony “that in his perception the gay families are families like yours, that (he) respects and welcomes each person’s orientation, that his practice is acceptance”. The minister said that he “does not believe in intolerance” and that “we live in a democratic country and that people can have any orientation and respect everyone”
Rejection of Plea Bargain
In November last year, the Minister of Education rejected the plea offered by the General Attorney’s Office (PGR) that could free him from opening an investigation for homophobia in the Supreme Federal Court (STF).
In a statement sent to the Supreme Court, Ribeiro officially announced that he refuses the proposed plea and asks for the case to be closed. The minister also reiterated “his firmest apology, ever made publicly, to any and all people who have been offended by the words spoken”.
The admission that the minister committed a crime of prejudice against homosexuals could be interpreted as a contradictory sign by the Bolsonaro government itself, which is trying in the Supreme Court to “relativize” the concept of homophobia.
Milton Ribeiro is the fourth occupant of the Education office of the Bolsonaro government. The pastor of the Presbyterian Church was appointed in April last year, after Carlos Alberto Decotelli, who did not take office due to the repercussion of a series of false information discovered in his curriculum.
Previously, the portfolio was occupied by Abraham Weintraub, who ended up leaving amid tensions with the Federal Supreme Court, after being recorded referring to STF ministers as vagabonds.
The first Minister in the Bolsonaro government was Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, who left the position in April with a management marked by crises and controversies, as an example, the intention of change the way the 1964 coup and the military dictatorship were portrayed in textbooks.