A Colombian couple has been condemned by the Catholic Church for posting a photo on Facebook that depicts the nativity scene with two father Josephs and baby Jesus, but no Virgin Mary.

According to the Mail, Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas, a gay couple living in the city of Cartagena, posted the image of their nativity plastic figures display without the Virgin Mary to create awareness about the need to legalise equal marriage in the country.

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

The city’s Catholic leaders described the display as “sacrilege.”

Earlier this month, during a parliamentary debate about equal marriage, Colombian Senator Edgar Espíndola said the measure would lead to necrophilia, bestiality and paedophilia.

In November, Senator Roberto Gerlein sparked outrage with a similar homophobic rant in which he described gay sex as “dirty and revolting”.