A gay actor who has played Jesus in traditional Spanish Easter parades for 30 years has been banned for being 'too ostentatious' when he performed the role lastyear.
Ramon Fossati, from Valencia, says he has been told that he cannot perform in the parade until 2019 and claims it may be because of his sexuality. Authorities told him it was because he exposed a naked shoulder and gave 'false blessings' to the crowd during his performance last year.
The Junta Mayor de Semana Santa Marinera, which governs the Easter celebrations in the city, accused the actor of 'ostentation and parody'.But Mr Fossati said he was just waving to spectators and explained that his costume had been based on traditional religious paintings of Christ.'I was not given any reason for the ban. It could be jealousy. Or maybe it was punishment for being gay,' he told theTimes. 'But everyone where I live knows my sexual orientation and it is not an issue. I am deeply religious and this is the worst thing that could happen.'
He said he even had the garment altered so that only one of his shoulders was exposed, incase authorities thought baring both shoulders was too risqué. Those taking part in the Easter parade have to adhere to strict rules to prevent too much flesh being exposed and inappropriate religious gestures.Mr Fossati was fined €300 (£237) following the parade last year but it was reduced to €60(£47) after he appealed the decision.Women can also be fined for showing too much cleavage or wearing dresses above theknee. The custom is to wear black dresses and a traditional headdress to the parade. The Junta has not commented on the ban.