Mayor Marcelo Crivella tried to ban sales of LGBTQ-themed books in Rio International Book Biennial. He said an Avengers comic book showing a kiss between two male superheroes were “unsuitable for minors.”
In retaliation, Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest newspaper published an enlarged reproduction of the kiss on the first page of its Saturday edition with the headline: “Crivella tries to censor comic with a gay kiss but is barred.”
The comic which started this row is in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, a comic book by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung published in 2010 for the first time.
Crivella said that the image would “spread homosexuality to children” and that he would “protect our children” by removing the “books with content that is unsuitable for minors.”
A Brazilian judge also granted an interim injunction barring Crivella from trying to stop sales of LGBTQ books. However, all the comics and every book on the theme have already been sold out.
Brazilian YouTube star Felipe Neto gave away 14,000 LGBTQ-themed books to fans Saturday as a protest against the mayor’s comments.
Marvel artist Jim Chueng, the artist who drew the kiss said, Now I don’t know what prompted the mayor to seek out a work that is almost a decade old, and that had already been on sale for many years, but I can say honestly, that there was no hidden motivation or agendas behind the work in promoting any particular lifestyle, nor targeting any unique audience.”
He added, “The scene merely depicts a tender moment between two characters who are in an established relationship. As an artist, my passion is to tell stories; stories of great heroism, compassion, and love, with as authentic and diverse characters as possible… The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard.”