Thursday, 18 July 2024
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AsiaReligious

‘Jesus’ drag performer is detained for profanity

  • Pagente was detained after a video surfaced of her reciting the Lord’s.
  • A second complaint was submitted by the Catholic organization Nazarene Brotherhood in August.
  • the right to freedom of expression extends to artistic expression that mocks or criticizes religious ideas.

Amadeus Fernando Pagente, a 33-year-old drag performer in the Philippines, was detained after a video surfaced of her reciting the Lord’s Prayer while portraying Jesus Christ.

Christian organizations have reported the video, which shows a bearded Pagente dressed as Jesus Christ, to the police.

‘Jesus’ drag performer

By the nation’s obscenity laws, which forbid “immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows,” Pagente may spend up to 12 years in prison.

A second complaint was submitted by the Catholic organization Nazarene Brotherhood in August after the Philippines for Jesus Movement filed the first one in July. Persona non grata has been proclaimed for Pagente in several cities, including Manila.

Drag queens have long been a favorite form of entertainment in the Philippines, but Pagente is a member of a new breed that utilizes drag to promote social concerns and push the boundaries of free speech.

The hashtag #FreePuraLukaVega has been used by supporters to demand Pagente’s release, saying “drug use is not a crime.”

Ryan Thoreson, the LGBT+ rights program specialist for Human Rights Watch, has also demanded that the charges against Pagente be dismissed. He claims that the right to freedom of expression extends to artistic expression that mocks or criticizes religious ideas.

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