Porto Alegre City Council approved a bill that vetoes the use of neutral language – Also known as non-binary language – in municipal schools and in the external communication of city government agencies. The text now goes to the municipal Executive for sanction.
The project was voted on this Wednesday (4), and approved by 20 votes to 11. The proposal is authored by councilors Fernanda Barth (PSC), Comandante Nádia (PP) and Psychologist Tanise Sabino (PTB) and councilors Alexandre Bobadra (PL), Ramiro Rosário (PSDB), Jessé Sangalli (Citizenship) and Hamilton Sossmeier (PTB).
According to the authors’ justification, “the so-called neutral language” proposes the exchange of the marked vowel, for example, the use of “xs alunxs” or “@s [email protected]” as a way of replacing the generic masculine – when students are used to refer to a room with boys and girls. “What would supposedly reveal a sexist characteristic of society. The ‘neutral’ language would seek to solve this problem. Obviously, it is an extremely wrong notion”, they say.
During the session, Commander Nádia said that the project “wouldn’t even have to exist if there weren’t groups that simply want to end the Portuguese language”. He defended that teachers cannot use the resource in documents and tests. “It’s a pseudo-inclusion they’re trying to do, with non-existent nouns, with false pronouns, with bizarre rules that don’t concern the Portuguese language,” he said.
Councilor Leonel Radde retorted ironically that the councilor brought “incontestable information about how immutable the Portuguese language is”. “I keep watching Dom Pedro II talking; nowadays, it would be something unintelligible”, he added.
Radde said he finds it absurd that the far-right arguments link the LGBT public with rape and pedophilia. “Then they will respond to the process in the STF and cry,” she said. “They keep this conversation that ‘the left is against chemical castration’, but go study, go study the basics a little, stop using people’s feelings, fear, this feeling of repulsion to link what is crime with the left”, he criticized, linking the attitude with the fake news.
In Radde’s estimation, no one would be talking about this in the House if it weren’t for the far right. “They do this to avoid debating Queiroz, Adriano da Nóbrega, not debating unemployment, cooking gas, fuel, the disappearing indigenous population, miners, deaths,” he said, stressing that the project is unconstitutional.
On social media, councilor Bruna Rodrigues (PCdoB) criticized the approval of the project. “Something that looks a lot like a smokescreen to delegitimize the real struggles that the municipality needs to raise in relation to education, such as the more than 5 thousand daycare spaces that are missing to serve our children,” she wrote.
A Mothers and Fathers Association for Democracy criticized the approval of the project, which he claims was authored by “those who preach the single thought in school and in society”. The note highlights that the country had 175 victims of transphobia in 2020. “They don’t care. They don’t want gender inclusion. They don’t want education and they don’t care about the lack of teachers and staff in schools. They want people who obey and submit to the rotten and patriarchal system that steals our color and our chance to be more”, says the entity in a statement.
In March, the Federal Court overturned a federal government ordinance, dated October 2021, which vetoed the use of neutral language in projects financed by the Rouanet Law. The decision complied with a request from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), which argued that banning its use constitutes prior censorship. The Federal Attorney for Citizens’ Rights (PFDC), linked to the entity, said in a technical note that neutral language is a factor of inclusion.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Marcelo Ferreira