Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas in Colombia have been criticized for their depiction of an all-male nativity scene which omits the Virgin Mary.

Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas have come under fire for their all-male manger – where the baby Jesus has two father Josephs and the Virgin Mary is nowhere to be seen.

The country’s Catholic Church has labeled the display, in the northern city of Cartagena, as “sacrilege.”

And thousands of Colombians have taken to social networking sites to slam the pair, with many saying they show “a lack of respect to God and all Christians.”

A Facebook user added, “As much as I support gay rights, this is just stupid on so many levels. If you are a Catholic you have to accept Jesus’ parents were Mary and Joseph.”

Political analyst Vásquez and entrepreneur Felipe have been together for four years and were united by a civil union, the closest thing to marriage for homosexuals in Colombia, three months ago.

The gay rights activists told the Diario Veloz website that they set up the scene, a picture of which was then posted on Facebook, in the hope that it would help in bringing about reform in the country’s gay marriage laws.

A bill to legalize gay marriage is currently being looked at by the country’s politicians and has passed the first of four debates. But it has been dubbed as “unconstitutional” by the nation’s conservative lawmakers.

Vásquez told the website: ‘We did it because we believe in Colombia. We have lived in different cities in the world and we prefer to return to our country.

“We are beginning to build [a better country] through our new union,” he said.

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