A row has erupted in Brazil after the House of Representatives elected an evangelical politician with homophobic views to run the country’s Human Rights and Minority Commission.

Marco Feliciano has previously said AIDS is a gay cancer and that Africans are cursed.

The Latin America Bureau reports he stated: “Noah’s curse on his grandson, Canaan, lingers in Africa, therefore leading to all the hunger, diseases, ethnic wars.”

In another comment, he wrote that the “rot of homosexual feelings leads to hatred, crime, rejection”.

Campaigners in Brazil have staged protests and demonstrations over the decision to appoint Mr Feliciano.

A high-profile campaign has collected 450,000 signatures calling for his resignation.

The BBC reports in previous statements, he denied being prejudiced against gay people, but said that he was “against their practices, their promiscuity”.

Mr Feliciano also denied allegations of racism, saying that his mother and stepfather are black.

Brazil continues to have the highest murder rate for LGBT people in the world.

Figures released in March showed that there were 338 murders of LGBT people in 2012.

It means roughly that one LGBT person is murdered every 26 hours in the country.