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Brazil Reverses Ban on 'Gay Jesus' Netflix Film

Judge says freedom of speech is essential
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2020 2:08 AM CST
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In the movie, Jesus brings home a boyfriend to meet Mary and Joseph.   (YouTube)
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(Newser) – The president of Brazil's top court has reversed a ban on a Netflix film that infuriated millions of Christians. Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli ruled Thursday that Netflix should be allowed to continue streaming The First Temptation of Christ, a satire which depicts Jesus Christ as a gay man, the BBC reports. "One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens," Toffoli said. The judge said freedom of speech is essential in a democracy.

Another judge ordered Netflix to pull the film from its service Wednesday, although it was never removed. It was created by YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos, which had its Rio de Janiero offices firebombed on Christmas Eve. Some 2 million Christians signed a petition against the film, saying it damaged the "honor of millions of Catholics." Felipe Santa Cruz, president of the Brazilian Bar Association, said the earlier ruling went against Brazil's constitution, the AP reports. "Any form of censorship or threat to this hard-won freedom is a setback and cannot be accepted by society," he said. (Read more Brazil stories.)

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