São Paulo Court Rules That Censorship of Play About Trans Jesus Is Unconstitutional


After a production of the play The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, which follows Jesus living as a transgender woman in the present day, went on tour in Brazil, conservatives in the country called for the play to be banned. A judge granted an injunction, calling the play offensive, and now that injunction has been ruled unconstitutional by São Paulo’s highest state court.

Hyperallergic reports that Judge J. L. Mônaco da Silva wrote that the previous injunction was censorship and in contradiction of the Brazilian Constitution, adding that it was a “true cultural aggression.” At the time of the injunction the play, directed by Natalia Mallo and starring actor Renata Carvalho, was reportedly performing to packed crowds across Brazil. “People might not agree with the content of the show, but that’s not enough reason to knock on the doors of the Court to ban its performance. Just don’t watch it!” the Judge said in his decision.

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven is a one-woman show written by Scottish playwright Jo Clifford as a reflection on her own experiences going to church as a trans woman. After seeing the production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Mallo tells Hyperallergic that she wanted to bring the show to Brazil especially due to an increase in transphobic violence in the country.

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