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Brazil: "Ex-gay" therapy bill withdrawn by sponsor

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Brazilian lawmakers fast-tracked a controversial bill designed to allow "ex-gay" therapy, but the measure's author quickly withdrew it on Tuesday fearing a humiliating defeat.

The bill was written by João Campos in conjunction with Marco Feliciano, the anti-gay Evangelical pastor who heads the Chamber of Deputies' Human Rights and Minorities Committee. The two managed to push the bill through committee by taking a vote when a number of opponents could not attend the meeting.

The "gay cure" bill came under enormous criticism worldwide, coming at a time when even Exodus International, a leading proponent of the junk science, admitted that the therapy did not work, apologized for decades of abuse, and closed up shop.

Brazil's progressive leader, President Dilma Rousseff, opposed the bill and met with LGBT supporters last week. Tuesday's news elated LGBT Brazilians.

"Today we are celebrating," said Guilhermina Cunha, a vice-president of the Brazilian GLBT Association. "The next step, however, and we we're not yet sure how to do it, is to remove Feliciano from his position."