A Christmas celebration that featured the Virgin Mary played by a drag queen and Joseph in black leather shorts has offended Christians in Holland.

Amsterdam city council paid for the “Pink Christmas” event yesterday.

The scantily clad, blonde-wigged Mary and Joseph were part of a live nativity scene in a nightclub entrance.

It was organised by homosexual rights group Pro Gay, who claimed that they were not trying to be controversial in their portrayal of the mother and father of Jesus Christ.

Frank van Dalen, chairman of Pro Gay, told the International Herald Tribune that the event cost €15,000 (£14,100) and was intended to promote the city as a gay-friendly tourist destination.

“Our objective is not to be offensive,” he said. “This is about visibility.”

Christians groups have said they are hurt by this mockery of their faith.

“By portraying Joseph and Mary as homosexuals, a twisted human fantasy is being added to the history of the Bible,” said Christians for Truth.

“Gay” nativity scenes are not a new idea.

In 2006 two Italian politicians have caused outrage in the country after placing a pair of dolls representing a gay couple in the parliament nativity scene.

The Radical Party’s Bruno Mellano and Donatella Porretti admitted the stunt and said it was to show support for gay union laws being proposed in the country.