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Gay Jesus banned from Easter parade in Spain

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Gay Jesus banned from Easter parade in Spain
An Easter procession on the beach of Valencia. Photo: Diego Tuson/AFP.
11:14 CEST+02:00
A man in Valencia has been banned from Easter parades for his bare-shouldered Jesus costume, but some suspect it's actually because he's openly gay.

The brotherhood of Cristo Salvador has banned one of its members from playing any Biblical character in Easter processions because he "lacked decorum" during last year's processions, according to Spanish daily ABC.

The actor, Ramón Fossati, who has played Jesus in the Holy Week processions for 20 years, had appeared with one bare shoulder and was blowing kisses and granting blessings to the crowd. Fossati will not be able to resume his role until 2019. 

He was initially also fined €300, but the fee was reduced to €60.

 

Semana Santa Marinera

A photo posted by Mikel Ponce (@mikel_ponce) on

"This is the first time in history that they have banned someone from the processions," Fossati told local newspaper Las Provincias. "I've played the role for more than 20 years and I don't understand why they are now blaming me for blessing the public when this is not so."

Fossati also explained that he had tried to base the costume on Biblical paintings.

Spanish forum Universo Gay and newspaper El Mundo wrote that the real reason behind the ban could be that Fossati is openly gay, though according to El Mundo, Fossati said that people in the community knew about his sexuality and had showed no problems before.

In the Instagram post by photographer Mikel Ponce pictured above of Fossati's costume last year, some commenters wrote that the garb was too "outlandish" for the religious event.

"Is this the religious member of the Village People?" wrote one Instagram user, referencing the gay disco icons.

The senior brother in the local brotherhood, José Luis Peiro, confirmed the ban and sanction to Las Provincias, but would not comment further.

The parade organizers have been known to dole out fines for "lack of decorum" in the past, including one woman playing Pontius Pilate's wife who was fined €300 for wearing a skirt that was too short. 

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