One of the ‘banned’ images: ‘Trialogo’ By Gonzalo Orquin
Legal threats by the Vatican have led to the censoring of photographs of same-sex couples kissing in churches at an exhibition in Rome.
The Catholic Church objected to the images, claiming that they breached Italian law by offending religious sensibility and desecrating places of worship.
Spanish born photographer Gonzalo Orquín told The Local that he had received the threats in a letter from the Vatican’s Vicariate, which argues that the images “could harm the religious sentiment of the faithful”.
The photos were taken guerrilla-style in churches, mostly in Rome, without the Vatican’s approval. They will remain covered up at the exhibition while Orquín’s lawyers consider the case.
Flavio Romani, president of gay rights organisation Arcigay slammed the Catholic Church’s reaction.
“In the images, in which the church has seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast,” he told The Local.
“The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque,” he told The Local.
Orquín, who has lived in Rome for almost a decade, described Italy as “a very homophobic county”.
Under the weight of Catholic influence, the country lags behind most other European nations when it comes to LGBT equality. Same-sex couples are not officially recognised under the law in Italy and have no shared rights to property, social security and inheritance.
View more of Orquín’s gay church kiss photos here.