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Citigroup CEO Really Wants to Honor Brazil’s Homophobic President

Jair Bolsonaro and Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat

The CEO says they support both homophobe Jair Bolsonaro and the LGBTQ+ community.

Remember this when someone from Citibank tries to hand you some Pride swag.

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat defended his company's decision to sponsor the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Person of the Year Award Gala Dinner, which will honor Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, often called the "Trump of the Tropics."

Bolsonaro has a dangerous track record when it comes to queer and women's issues. He has called himself a "proud homophobe," has made plans to remove LGBTQ+ content from school curricula, and has also said that he doesn't particularly like gay people coming to Brazil for tourism. He's also equated homosexuality to pedophilia as a way to block gay couples from adopting children.

Despite all this, Corbat said that there's no question about his company's "unwavering support" for the LGBT community.

"We spend a lot of time making sure our people understand the values of our company," Corbat said on CNBC.

"We're supporting the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce," Corbat continued. "We've operated in Brazil for many, many decades, and I think we're very clear in terms of our stance."

New York state senator Brad Hoylman weighed in on Corbat's comments on Twitter.

"By sponsoring an event honoring a homophobe as Man of the Year, @Citi is making their values clear-but maybe not in the way they intended," Hoylman wrote. "Normalizing an anti-LGBTQ president who wants to actively harm - and even kill - LGBTQ people does not reflect New York values. Period."

Several companies, including Delta Air and the Financial Times, have pulled their sponsorship from the event, according to Gay Star News. However, several corporate sponsors have kept their names on the event, including JP Morgan, Bank of America, and UnitedHealth Group.

The event was originally scheduled to take place at the Museum of Natural History, but the institution cancelled the event, which will now take place at New York's Marriott Hotel.

It's times like these that it makes sense to have a corporation-free pride event.

RELATED | Bolsonaro Says Gay Tourists Welcome If They 'Have Sex With a Woman'

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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