Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas are celebrating the holidays with one unique twist: creating an all-male manger that many in their native Colombia are calling a “homosexual nativity scene.”
The couple is facing controversy for posting a photo of a nativity scene on Facebook displaying a baby Jesus with reportedly two father Josephs, the Colombian press is reporting. The Virgin Mary was nowhere to be found.
The country’s Catholic church has labeled the display, in the northern city of Cartagena, as “sacrilege,” and thousands have taken to the social networking site to express their outrage, insisting the nativity scene is “a lack of respect to God and all Christians.”
“As much as I support gay rights, this is just stupid on so many levels,” said one Facebook user. “If you are a Catholic you have to accept Jesus’ parents were Mary and Joseph."
Vásquez, a political analyst and his partner Cárdenas, an entrepreneur, are noted for being together for four years before being united by a civil union three months ago. A civil union is classified as the closest option to marriage for gay couples in Colombia.
The couple told news site Diario Veloz they created the scene and posted the photo on Facebook in hopes of raising awareness on bringing reform to Colombia’s gay marriage laws. Vásquez and Cárdenas consider themselves to be proud gay rights activists.
“We did it because we believe in Colombia,” said Vásquez to the site. “We have lived in different cities in the world and prefer to return to our country.”
He also added, “We are beginning to build [a better country] through our new union."
The New York Daily News says a bill to legalize gay marriage is currently being reviewed by Colombian politicians. While it has passed the first of four debates, it has also been viewed as “unconstitutional” by conservative lawmakers.