Blasphemous libel?

On this day in 1977, London’s Gay News and its editor were found guilty of blasphemous libel. The secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association “objected to a poem and illustration published in the fortnightly paper [in 1976] about a homosexual centurion’s love for Christ at the Crucifixion.” Fined £1,000, the paper paid a total of £10,000 with court costs, and the editor received a nine-month suspended jail sentence and a £500 fine.

The prosecutor argued, “It may be said that this is a love poem — it is not, it is a poem about buggery.”


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