A sensual cover image featuring a lesbian embrace has been censored after objections from a major retailer.

DIVA, Europe’s leading lesbian glossy, had chosen the photo, a homage to a legendary cover of Rolling Stone magazine featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono, for the cover of their SEX issue.

Jane Czyzselska, editor of DIVA magazine, said:

“The cover image of Yoko and John taken by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone magazine in 1981 is one of the most iconic of our time.

DIVA’s sensual SEX themed issue was inspired by and created as an homage to Leibovitz and her outstanding and enduring cultural contribution.”

A spokesman for Millivres Prowler Group, who own DIVA said:

“At the eleventh hour we received notification that the magazine couldn’t run with the iconic cover.

“Unfortunately, we were forced to censor the cover because one major retailer objected to it. They didn’t explain why.”

The Leibovitz cover was to be the last photograph taken of Lennon and was recently ranked the top magazine cover of the last 40 years by a panel of magazine editors, artists and designers.

Last July another Millivres title, GT, ran a cover that proved too racy for London Underground, who asked that the image be substituted for one more sedate.

Tube bosses rejected the image for use in an advertising campaign because they felt that one of the models was in a state of undress.

The offending cover of GT ironically marked the 40th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The April issue of DIVA magazine will be available from March 6th.