A lesbian kiss between two images of the Virgin Mary is causing controversy in Spain this month.
Spanish church officials denounced it as blasphemy when the LGBT group Endavant launched a Pride-month poster with a pair of Madonnas kissing as an interracial couple.
“Against the holy oppression, love as you want,” says the slogan above them in Valencian. The poster promotes LGBT Pride events in the Spanish cities of Valencia, Palma and Barcelona.
The same-sex kiss occurs between the region's two most popular devotional images of Mary: Our Lady of the Forsaken (patroness of Valencia) and the dark-skinned Virgin of Monserrat (patroness of Catalonia and one of Europe’s black Madonnas). Both wear elaborate crowns.
Endavant responded to the blasphemy charges by denouncing the role of the ecclesiastical hierarchy in propagating hatred against homosexuality. “The poster is a hymn to life, liberty and fraternity as we want to love above moral norms invented by humankind,” the statement said.
“Mary Magdalene and Virgen de Guadalupe” (from “My Cathedral”) by Alex Donis
The Endavant poster is reminiscent of another controversial artwork that used LGBT Christian imagery. Queer Latino artist Alex Donis painted the Virgin of Guadalupe kissing Mary Magdalene as part of “My Cathedral,” a series that showed people of opposite viewpoints kissing in same-sex pairs.
The “My Cathedral” exhibit was vandalized when it opened in San Francisco in 1997. The image and the controversy it caused are included in the book “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More” by Kittredge Cherry.
Artistic images of the Virgin Mary’s lesbian kiss are a beautiful way to express the sacredness of LGBT lives and the union of sexuality and spirituality.
Valencia’s Escalating Inflammatory Rhetoric Should Not Have Gotten This Far (New Ways Ministry)
This post is part of the Artists series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series profiles artists who use lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer spiritual and religious imagery. It also highlights great queer artists from history, with an emphasis on their spiritual lives.
Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts