A Brazilian congressman ordered that two young women be thrown in jail after they were seen kissing during an evangelical event in mid-September.
Pastor Marco Feliciano stopped his presentation during Glorifica Litoral in the city of São Sebastião to request that municipal guards and military police officers arrest the two women.
“Those two girls have to leave here handcuffed” said Feliciano, who is also president of the House Commission for Human Rights and Minorities. “No use trying to run; guards are headed there now. This here isn’t a place where anything goes. It’s the house of God.”
The two young women, Yunka Mihura, 20, and Joana Palhares, 18, were taken by the Municipal Civil Guard to the First District Police Station of São Sebastião. Mihura and Palhares claimed that they were physically assaulted by the police during the incident, PRI reported.
During an interview after their arrest, the women said they had kissed multiple times during the event and that nobody seemed to mind. “The event was public, paid for with our taxes,” Mihura said. “That stage, that microphone, everything was with public money. It was also an open space, on Beach Street. It was our right to be there.”
“We see it as a situation that got completely out of control,” said the lawyer for the two women, Daniel Galani. “We know there are two rights in conflict: one is the freedom of expression and the other the freedom of religious practice. The two rights are constitutional and are prescribed so that people can make use of them.”