Brazilian supreme court rules that Netflix can stream gay Jesus comedy show

Ben Arnold
The First Temptation of Christ (Credit: Netflix)

The Brazilian supreme court has overturned a ruling made by a judge which temporarily banned a Netflix comedy show depicting a gay Jesus.

The First Temptation of Christ, a Christmas special made by comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos, found the son of God introducing his new boyfriend to his family.

But it was met by a petition signed by two million people demanding it be taken down from the streaming platform, and protests which saw the group's offices in Rio de Janeiro firebombed.

Read more: Netflix ordered to take down gay Jesus comedy

Overruling an earlier judgement, which claimed that the show hurt the 'honour' of catholics and christians, supreme court president José Antonio Dias Toffoli wrote: “It is not to be assumed that a humorous satire has the magic power to undermine the values of the Christian faith, whose existence goes back more than two thousand years.”

Netflix had filed a complaint against the previous ruling of the temporary ban by Judge Benedicto Abicair.

He said: “The right to freedom of expression... is not absolute. I understand, yes, that there must be reflection so that excesses do not occur, avoiding nefarious consequences for many, due to eventual foolishness by a few.

(Credit: Netflix)

“Exhibiting the 'artistic production'... may cause graver and more irreparable damage than its suspension.”

Lawyers working on behalf of Netflix complained that the ruling 'silences by means of fear and intimidation', saying that it was 'equivalent to that of the bomb used in the terrorist attack against the headquarters'.

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Three men attacked the offices of the group on Christmas Eve, throwing molotov cocktails at the building's entrance.

In a statement following the attack, the group said: “We will move on, more united, stronger, more inspired and confident that the country will survive this storm of hatred and love will prevail alongside freedom of speech.”

The ruling comes after the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said he was 'a proud homophobe', and that he'd prefer a 'dead son to a gay son'.

In the 46-minute show, Jesus returns from the desert on his 30th birthday, with a new companion, the flamboyant Orlando, who its implied is his boyfriend.