Pope Francis was greeted with a hero's welcome in Brazil Monday from Catholic youth, thousands of which are gathered in the country for a five-day celebration of World Youth Day, a major Catholic event. But on Monday night, the Argentinian-born pope got a very different reception from young LGBT Brazilians, who staged a beijaco, or kiss-in, along the papal motorcade route.
Video from the protest shows demonstrators passionately kissing their partners, some of them topless, while others waved rainbow flags. Behind them, a solemn row of people stood praying.
The protest likely won't be the last nudity Pope Francis will see on his trip. The Campaign for Brazilian Women is organizing a protest at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro Saturday, in which Brazilian women will march in suggestive nun outfits or other risque clothing. The "SlutWalk" is part of an international protest movement against sexual violence, a growing problem in Brazil.
"We've decided to organize SlutWalk during the Pope's visit to establish a political counterpoint," Rogeria Peixinho, an activist with the campaign, told the Mexican newspaper Milenio. "We want to show that there's another youth and another way of thinking that is against oppression and the control of female sexuality."
Video posted to Peixinho's YouTube page of a 2011 SlutWalk in Brazil shows women stripped down to their bras holding signs that read "Unholy Cow" and "We're all bitches."
Some protesters have chosen less racy – but more violent – means of getting the pope's attention. A group called "Anonymous Rio," which wants the Rio de Janeiro governor ousted, urged supporters on its Facebook page Monday to gather before the government building where the Pope was to meet Brazilian President Dilma Roussef.
According to NBC, some 1,500 demonstrators showed up to the protest and several violent clashes broke out with police.
Brazil has been rocked by protests over the last year that started with anger over high transportation prices but have extended to include a wide-ranging list of frustrations.