A gay couple in Colombia have received death threats after they posted an image online of a nativity scene that includes two Josephs and no Mary.
The photo is of the nativity scene set up in the BogÃ³ta home of AndrÃ©s VÃ¡squez and Felipe CÃ¡rdenas, who have been together for four years and in a civil union for three months.
They told local news media that they posted the photo on Facebook in the hope of advancing the cause of same-sex marriage in their country.
The image, however, generated a wave of outrage on the social media website and was widely reported on in the media.
The Catholic Church even issued a statement condemning the couple’s nativity scene as “sacrilege”.
Speaking to Gay Star News, VÃ¡squez accused the media of drumming up anti-gay sentiment and revealed that the couple have been receiving threatening e-mails and posts.
“I’ve been so confused. How can they threaten me? Not just to censor it, but many of those called to kill me,” he said, adding “At this time I’m feeling very unsafe and at this point any crazy fanatic could get a gun and shoot me”.
VÃ¡squez explained that the nativity scene was meant to represent the family.
“The nativity scene is more than a religious representation. It is the way the world gets together every year to remember family values, it doesn’t matter if the family’s parents are straight or gay,” he said.
Colombia’s lawmakers are considering legislation to legalise same-sex marriage but it is being fiercely opposed by conservative Catholic politicians.