Marta Suplicy, left-wing candidate for mayor of Sao Paulo, is at the centre of a political furore over an election advertisement.

Worker’s Party candidate Ms Suplicy features in televised campaign advertisements asking of her opponent Gilberto Kassab, “Is he married? Does he have children?” a message which some LGBT communities are defining as homophobic.

The Brazil LGBT Committee released a statement on Monday this week stating that the advertisements are “wrong and unacceptable.”

Ms Suplicy has responded to criticism by denying any homophobic views. She told journalists “I am against prejudice. From my mouth you will not hear any prejudice.”

The scandal comes as a surprise in the light of Ms Suplicy’s past support of gay rights.

Sau Paulo holds the world’s largest Pride event, and Ms Suplicy was vocal on gay equality at 2008′s celebrations. In a speech there she told the crowds:

“We still see cases of homophobia in the country. We still don’t have a law making homophobia a crime, and that needs to change.

“Congress has to approve this law.”