There has been a lot in the global news media recently about the new President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the highly controversial things he is alleged to have said in the past.

Some quotes are attributed to him in a 2018 New York Times article. For example:

In June 2011, he said he would “rather his son die in a car accident than be gay,”

However, in discussions about this on social media, I've seen several Brazilians claim that it's "fake news", that he isn't really homophobic or racist, and that these news articles are just a "globalist scam" to discredit him.

Portuguese isn't a language I speak, so I'm having trouble verifying the original sources and context of this quote.

Can anyone point to the original source of this quote?

3 Answers 3



In an interview with the Brazilian version of the Playboy magazine (in Portuguese, published June 2011, available on Archive.org), when asked what he would do if his son "turned homosexual", he said:

Tem certas coisas que digo que é como a morte. Me daria desgosto, me deixaria triste, e acho até que ele mesmo me abandonaria num caso desses. Para mim é a morte. Digo mais: prefiro que morra num acidente do que apareça com um bigodudo por aí. Para mim ele vai ter morrido mesmo.

This roughly translates to:

There are certain things that I say are as death. It would bring me disgust, would make me sad, and I even think that he, himself, would abandon me in that case. To me, it is death. And more: I'd rather he died in an accident than show up with some guy. To me, he really would have died.

In the same interview, when asked about whether he could love a homosexual son, he replied negatively - "Seria incapaz", Portuguese for "I would be unable [to do so]".

  • Curiously, the quote that many media outlets (like Terra’s in my comment) use slightly diverge from the one in the archive.
    – user47544
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 18:52
  • 4
    @William probably because they're translations Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 14:27
  • 3
    @BrianLeishman They’re no translations. All of them are native Brazilian news sources, and the quotes diverge between them for some reason. Osuka, though, almost every media outlet nowadays has an agenda, unfortunately; just look at CNN and Fox News.
    – user47544
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 23:41
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    @William I understand that, but that doesn’t mean every story fox and CNN put out are manipulated or otherwise biased (even in the way it is written). Sometimes, information is actually just reported as it really is - and so far, I’ve found that this was the case here.
    – osuka_
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 23:44
  • Why "disgust" and not "grief"? Strange choice. Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 8:27

The English Wikipedia page on Bolsonaro mentions: "[...] Bolsonaro said that "I would be incapable of loving a gay son", and added that he would prefer any gay son of his "to die in an accident". This was apparently said in an interview with Playboy Magazine in 2011, and is mentioned here as well (linked to Wikipedia).

The headline is "Bolsonaro: "prefiro filho morto em acidente a um homossexual". While I also do not spek Portuguese, in this case it's quite similar to Spanish, which I understand a little.

Prefiro filho morto em acidente is "I prefer (a) son that dies in an accident", a um homosexual is a comparative roughly translated as "over a homosexual (one)"

Terra is a news aggregation website like Yahoo!, MSN, and such (see here). Unfortunately, I'm on a work computer right now and would rather not Google for Playboy, even though this time it's really for the articles ;)

  • 3
    Here's what appears to be the full text of the Playboy interview. I also don't know Portuguese well enough to offer a better translation, though. Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 15:50
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    There is no factual recording of this statement, but his seemly confirms it at an interview to Veja (youtu.be/LIvzTJJmRQw) where he justifies it by saying it was in a context about the ‘kit gay’, which isn’t much coherent. Furthermore, in the full quote, he actually says that if a son of his show ups with a bearded man, this son is ‘dead’ to him, not that he would like a gay man to indeed die.
    – user47544
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 16:10
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    In a news story by Terra (bit.ly/2ODDEpz), it is quoted: “Seria incapaz de amar um filho homossexual. Não vou dar uma de hipócrita aqui: prefiro que um filho meu morra num acidente do que apareça com um bigodudo por aí. Para mim ele vai ter morrido mesmo” Which literally translates to: I would be unable to love a gay son. I’ll not be a hypocrite here: I’d rather have a son die in an accident than to show up around with a bearded man [bigodudo would translate to moustached/cheful, which is often used in pt-br to mean a masculine man]. To me it would be like he is dead either way.
    – user47544
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 16:20
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    As you yourself described, this answer needs to be rewritten to point to the original (Playboy) source - Wikipedia does not count as a sufficiently reliable source. But then, such an answer is already present.
    – user22865
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 20:41

As it is clear by now, thanks to the other answers, Bolsonaro actually said that. My intention in this answer is just to provide a video evidence of it.

This is the Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIvzTJJmRQw

The title says: Jair Bolsonaro talks about the controversial phrase "I'd rather have a dead son than a homossexual one".

The interviewer asks: You gave an interview to Playboy where you said that you'd rather have a dead son than a homossexual one. Would you say that again, today?

Bolsonaro eventually admits at 1:15:

No, I wouldn't say that again today.

This, obviously, proves that he indeed said that.

  • 2
    Welcome to Skeptics! I don't want to get into an edit war with you but you don't get to say claims are false without giving references (and at least saying what was said!) In any case, other statements are irrelevant to the question, and your personal political opinion is off-topic here, so please leave it out of the answer.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 14:20

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