Gay Times Magazine emerged in 1984 from the ashes of Him Magazine and Gay News, the latter of which was found guilty of blasphemy in 1977. The magazine was taken to court in 1977 due to a poem and illustration about a gay centurion’s love for Jesus at the crucifixion, and the paper had to pay £11,000 in compensation. The editor was fined £500 and was given a 9 month stint in prison. At this time it had a circulation of 20,000, therefore in hindsight it is perhaps unsurprising that following the trial two other newspapers proceeded to publish the same poem in protest to the court decision. The poem, entitled ‘The Love That Dares To Speak It’s Name’ is brave, even nowadays, but I personally find it hard to understand why it is blasphemous to the degree it was considered to be. Honestly, we don’t know what sort of a man Jesus was. The bible has been translated from Ancient Hebrew into Greek and Latin and so on, it must be a little bit like Chinese whispers. The fact of the matter is, we do not know him, only that he was a good man, and that has nothing to do with his appearance, his likes or dislikes or even his ancestry or whether he produced any. Now the poem is all over the internet, it seems that Gay News was unnecessarily lost when it closed in the early 80s.
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