The debate in the “carioca” legislature about “changing homosexuality”: science, politics and religion

Ana Teresa Acatauassú Venancio Pilar Rodriguez Belmonte About the authors


The article analyzes the debate in printed media about the 717/03 law proposal which was presented at the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro in August 2003. This bill provided for the use of public funds for the “change of homosexuality.” News about this project published in newspapers and magazines of statewide and nationwide coverage were used in the research considering the authors, social actors and categories that appeared in the different types of material, as well as the opposing and favorable arguments about the Legislative proposal. We have thus verified how arguments related to the scientific, religious and political fields have reconfigured the relations between nature/culture and normal/pathological, operating in a specific and sometimes contradictory way, with dear values to contemporary modern societies, as equality among men and individual will.

Key words:
homosexuality; mental disease; science; psychiatry; Rio de Janeiro

Centro Latino-Americano em Sexualidade e Direitos Humanos (CLAM/IMS/UERJ) R. São Francisco Xavier, 524, 6º andar, Bloco E 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro/RJ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (21) 2568-0599 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil