Gays, lesbians, and trans people are being beaten, stabbed, and murdered in Brazil in an "epidemic of anti-gay-violence," the NYT reports:
While Americans have fiercely debated how to respond to the massacre last month at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Brazilians have been confronting their own epidemic of anti-gay violence — one that, by some counts, has earned Brazil the ignominious ranking of the world’s deadliest place for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. Nearly 1,600 people have died in hate-motivated attacks in the past four and half years, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia, which tracks the deaths through news articles. By its tally, a gay or transgender person is killed almost every day in this nation of 200 million. “And these numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg of violence and bloodshed,” said Eduardo Michels, the group’s data manager, adding that the Brazilian police often omit anti-gay animus when compiling homicide reports. Such statistics can be hard to square with Brazil’s storied image as a tolerant, open society—a nation that seemingly nurtures freewheeling expressions of sexuality during Carnival and holds the world’s biggest gay pride parade in the city of São Paulo.
The story unpacks the scale of the violence and describes some absolutely harrowing examples of gay men, lesbians, and trans women being beaten and killed. But it's not until you get to 15th paragraph—long after the jump—that you find this:
Some experts suggest that liberal government policies may have gotten too far ahead of traditional social mores. The anti-gay violence, they contend, can be traced to Brazil’s culture of machismo and a brand of evangelical Christianity, exported from the United States, that is outspoken in its opposition to homosexuality. Evangelicals make up nearly a quarter of Brazil’s population, up from 5 percent in 1970, and religious leaders reach millions of people through the hundreds of television and radio stations they have purchased in recent years.
American evangelical Christians export their sex-phobic, homophobic, misogynist "faith" to a foreign country... and LGBT people are hunted and killed in the streets. Where have we seen this before?
Religious extremists are fomenting a campaign of violence and terror targeting sexual minorities. But we're not talking about their religious extremists—we're not talking about imams or mullahs—we're talking about our religious extremists: white evangelical American protestants. They've successfully exported anti-LGBT hatred and violence to Africa and now they're exporting their anti-LGBT hatred and violence to the largest country in South America.
If the NYT were reporting on the Islamic State's murderous campaign targeting gay men, or the kind of virulent anti-LGBT hate that comes bundled with Saudi Arabia's brand of Islam (which our "ally" has pushed all over the world), the central role that religion plays in legitimizing and encouraging anti-LGBT hate and violence would be the lead and should be the lead. But because we're talking about Christianity in this case—and the harm being done by American Christians—the role religion is playing in this epidemic of anti-gay violence is an afterthought buried 15 paragraphs into the story.