The Bishop of Oslo, Ole Christian Kvarme, on Monday condemned the video as “totally unacceptable” and “a gross misuse of the church”, accusing the video’s producers of misinforming the church about the video’s contents.
“My new video Father is Out, and so am I!” Tooji Keshtar, 28, said as he released the video on YouTube on Monday.
In the song and video, called the The Father Project, Tooji, hooded and caped like a monk, interrupts the priest in the middle of his sermon, and kisses him passionately, after which the video cuts to the couple having energetic sex in front of the altar, along with generally approving reactions of the congregation.
Finally, as the the two men stand embracing naked in front of the altar, they sprout angels’ wings, while light streams in through the stained glass windows behind them.
“The song and the video is about someone who is running from himself, denying himself, and yes, if God is in everyone and everything, denying God,” Tooji Keshtar, 28, said, explaining the symbolism.
“With this project I wanted to show that love between two people of the same sex has for too long has been tainted by religion.”
Tooji combined the release with an interview with Gaysir, the Norwegian gay portal, on why he had decided to go public with his sexuality.
“I have probably not made a secret of who I am, but I have not previously stepped forward publicly as gay,” he said. “I've always thought that my sexuality is ‘nobody's business but mine’. No heterosexual needs to share what their preferences are, so why should I? Therefore, I have never responded to questions from the press about it.”
Tooji, whose song Stay came 26th in Eurovision 2012 in Baku, works as a singer, TV presenter, and somewhat incongruously as a social worker.
He was born in Iran and moved to Norway when he was one year old.
Tooji on Monday night claimed that he had lost his job presenting Melodi Grand Prix Junior, a version of Eurovision fro teenagers which airs only in the Nordic Countries, as a result of the video.
“The reason I was fired was that the music video was not consistent with being a role model for children,” he said.