'Gay Jesus' Netflix ban revoked by Brazil's supreme court
Brazil’s supreme court has overturned a ruling banning Netflix from showing a film depicting Jesus as gay.
The First Temptation Of Christ depicts Jesus returning home on his 30th birthday and introducing his family to his ‘boyfriend’.
The 46-minute special was produced by Rio-based comedians Porta dos Fundos, whose headquarters were targeted in a petrol bomb attack on Christmas Eve.
In his ruling, president of the supreme court, Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli, said: “It is not to be assumed that a humorous satire has the magic power to undermine the values of the Christian faith, whose existence goes back more than two thousand years”.
Religious groups had responded angrily to the film, and a petition started by a Brazilian Catholic organisation received over two million signatures.
Netflix had complained after a judge in Rio de Janeiro ordered it to remove the show, calling it “blasphemous” and accusing it of hurting the honour of millions of Catholics”.
The streaming service had compared the effect of the ban to that of the physical attack on the film’s offices, saying both “silence by means of fear and intimidation”.
Felipe Santa Cruz, president of the The Order of Attorneys of Brazil said the ban went against the Brazilian constitution, which guarantees free expression in the arts, science and communication.
Despite the fact that the film was never removed from the streaming service, the short-lived ban has drawn attention to Brazil’s far-right government under President Jair Bolsonaro.
His administration has vowed to fight “cultural Marxism” and actively promotes Christian values.
Several shows, plays and conferences have been cancelled in the last year, leading critics to accuse Bolsonaro of waging a “cultural war”.
The comedy troupe behind the film, Porta dos Fundos, commented on the supreme court ruling, saying they stand “against any act of censorship, violence, illegality, authoritarianism and all the things we no longer expected to have to repudiate in 2020. Our job is to make humour”.
Brazil has more Catholics than any other country.
The Vatican considers homosexual acts – but not homosexuality itself – to be sinful.