Evangelical Caucus in Brazil Congress Wants Psychologists to Be Able to “Cure” Gays

Gay couple Led by representative João Campos (from the PSDB party of Goiás state), the president of the evangelical caucus (Frente Parlamentar Evangélica), a bill for a legislative decree changing the wording in a document approved in 1999 by the Federal Council of Psychologists (CFP) may soon be the subject of public hearings and, at some time in the future, if Campos and his colleagues get their way, go to a floor vote.

The evangelicals want to abolish two provisions in the CFP resolution. The first prohibits psychologists from engaging “in public activities that reinforce social prejudices.” The second states that “Brazilian psychologists are forbidden from collaborating with events and services that propose any treatment or cure of homosexuality.”

Although the CFP document explicitly rejects the so-called “gay cure,” deputy Roberto de Lucena, who is responsible for herding the bill through the legislative process, denies there is any intention of branding homosexuality a disease.

“Our proposal has nothing to do with the gay cure. That is a distortion by the media. No one is calling homosexuality a disease. Our objective is to ensure that everyone, gay, straight or whatever, can obtain professional assistance. We just want to make sure that a psychologist can help someone who wants to change.”

Deputy João Campos says that he questions the legal right of the CFP to dictate the rules for a psychologist to practice professionally.

According to Campos (this is in his bill), the CFP usurped the legislature by making law. The deputy adds, “It restricts the psychologist’s activities, on one hand, and, on the other, limits the rights of people to obtain professional orientation.” 

Civil Service

A logistical error in the distribution of test booklets in a civil service exam for high-paying positions in the Senate will mean that thousands of candidates will have to take the test again.

It is estimated that over 10,000 candidates for the positions of systems analysts, system support analysts and nurses will have to repeat the exam. Some of them paid as much as 190 reais (US$ 105)to take the exam and spent months studying for it.

In the case of many candidates who were supposed to take the test for system support analysts it seems they received the test for systems analysts. That happened in at least four classrooms at a testing center in the Federal District.

In one of the classrooms where around 50 people were to take the test, the error came to light when it was discovered that a question that had been corrected on a blackboard before the test was not on the test.

Some candidates saw the error before taking the exam and left the testing areas, while others did not know of the problem and continued to take the test. It was late in the afternoon when the testing authority (the Fundação Getúlio Vargas) announced it would have to cancel part of the exam.

Even so, some candidates only found out about the problems at around 8:00 pm when they were informed that their exams had been annulled. A lot of candidates complained about the confusion, poor communication and lack of information.

Some candidates went straight to a nearby police station to register complaints.

Civil service exams are very big business in Brazil. The promise is a high-paying job in the government with a sort of tenure. Civil servants can be fired in Brazil but it is not common and the removal process is complicated.

Testing took place this Sunday (March 11) in the morning (for technical positions) and the afternoon (for analysts and nurses, among others) in 26 states and the Federal District.

The positions in the Senate offered pay of between 13,800 reais (US$ 7,680) and 23,800 reais (US$ 13,250) that were so highly coveted that over 157,000 candidates took the tests. They were disputing 246 openings.

ABr

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