An actor has been told he cannot play Jesus in an Easter parade because he is gay.

Ramon Fossati has played Jesus in the parade in Valencia for three decades, has been barred from doing so until 2019.

He was told that he exposed a naked shoulder last year, and because he waved his hands in an “ostentatious” manner, is the reason behind the ban.

The decision came from the Junta Mayor de la Semana Santa Marinera.

The body oversees the brotherhoods which stage the Easter parades in Valencia.

He was accused of “ostentation and parody” after the show last year, and because he pretended to bless the crowd.

Fossati denied the accusations, saying he just raised his hand in order to acknowledge people attending the parade.

Spanish Easter parades are strictly governed, meaning excessive nudity is banned, alongside inappropriate religious gestures.

In the past, according to the Times, women have been fined for showing too much cleavage, or for wearing dresses above the knee.

Women are asked to wear heavy black dresses and headdresses.

Last year, Fossati was fined €300 after last year’s parade which took place on Easter Sunday.

He appealed, and the amount was reduced to €60 but he was banned for four years, until 2019, from taking place in his brotherhood’s parade.

He said: “I was not given any reason for the ban,”

“It could be jealousy. Or maybe it was punishment for being gay. But everyone where I live knows my sexual orientation and it is not an issue. I am deeply religious and this is the worst thing that could happen.”

His costume in 2015 was modelled on tradition religious depictions of Christ, and that he originally had two bare shoulders, he had it altered so that only one was on show.

Anti-gay marriage activists have this week declared their new target: the Easter Bunny.

Fresh off of their futile, failed campaign to stop equal marriage in all 50 US states, the National Organisation for Marriage set their sights on a new target.

Last month, the organisers of an entire city’s Easter celebrations decided to call them off, rather than allow LGBT people to participate.