We write as concerned citizens and LGBTQ allies to urge Marriott and Host Hotels and Resorts, the owner of the New York Marriott Marquis, to cancel the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 “Person of the Year” Gala Dinner honoring the notorious homophobe and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, scheduled to take place on May 14, 2019.
President Bolsonaro has an extremely disturbing record of bigotry, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia. Among other things, he once said he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son” and that he would rather his son die than be gay. In addition, President Bolsonaro once said a Brazilian Congresswoman was “not worth raping” because “she is very ugly.”
Given President Bolsonaro’s sordid record of public comments, it is appalling that a business in New York City would host an event in support of him. We are deeply concerned about the message such an event would send to New Yorkers, particularly LGBTQ young people, many of whom are struggling with their identity and are watching his remarks against them be celebrated. By hosting this event, Marriott is giving President Bolsonaro a platform that rewards his outrageous behavior.
We do not believe that Marriott and Host Hotels can claim to be “responsible corporate citizens” if they force Marriott Marquis employees to work for an event that honors a well-documented bigot. These corporations still have time to prove to the LGBTQ community and allied New Yorkers that hatred has no place in this city and state. We urge Marriott and Host Hotels to cancel the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 “Person of the Year” Gala at the Marriott Marquis immediately.
We will be watching.