As Rio de Janeiro’s evangelical mayor battled to ban a Marvel Avengers comic showing two male characters kissing, a Sao Paulo newspaper splashed a giant image of the kiss across its cover.
Mayor Marcelo Crivella, a former Pentacostal bishop, had demanded the comic be pulled from a book fair, because of its “sexual content for minors.” He ordered a raid by police on Thursday to seek out and seize the book to “defend the family,” The New York Times reported.
The image that apparently upset Crivella features comic book boyfriends Wiccan and Hulkling kissing while fully clothed in the book “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade.”
A judge on Friday temporarily halted the crackdown on the book, the BBC reported. But another judge ruled on Saturday that gay and lesbian content for children should not be publicly displayed.
Too late: The daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo featured the kiss on its front page Saturday.
The comic book quickly sold out at the fair after Crivella complained, CNN reported.
The Children’s Crusade series has been available in Brazil since 2012, and the luxury hardcover volume at the book fair was released three years ago. Wiccan and Hulkling hadn’t been an issue until Crivella made them one.
“Books like this need to be wrapped in black sealed plastic with a content warning displayed on the outside,” Crivella, who has called homosexuality “evil,” said in a videotaped message on Twitter Thursday. “Guys! We need to protect our children,” he said in a Google translation.
Gay relationships have been portrayed in Marvel comics since the early 1990s. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013.
Rodrigo Azambuja of Rio’s public defenders’ office, who was involved in the court action against the mayor, said same-sex relationships are protected in the nation, noted the Times.
“Under Brazilian law,” he said, “all families are equal.”