The Love that Dares to Speak its Name  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Love that Dares to Speak its Name is a controversial poem by James Kirkup which describes homosexual acts committed with the body of the dead Christ. Its is written from the viewpoint of a Roman centurion who is graphically described having sex with Jesus after his crucifixion, and also claims that Jesus had had sex with numerous disciples, guards, and even Pontius Pilate. Its title The Love that Dares to Speak its Name was taken from a line in the poem "Two Loves" by Lord Alfred Douglas.

It was at the centre of the Whitehouse v. Lemon trial for blasphemous libel, where the editor of Gay News was convicted and given a suspended prison sentence.

The poem was banned in 1979 under the UK's blasphemy laws after it was published by Gay News on June 3, 1976.

The blasphemous libel charge named Gay News Ltd and the editor, Denis Lemon and was brought by Mary Whitehouse, founder and first president of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association. Following the trial (R. v. Lemon) Lemon received a nine-month suspended jail sentence.

In 1996, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service began an investigation that had been initiated by the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association (renamed mediawatch-uk), over a hypertext link to Kirkup's poem on the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement's web site. (The site was closed down for financial reasons in March 1996.)

In 1997, the charges against the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement were formally dropped.

See also

The love that dare not speak its name



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Love that Dares to Speak its Name" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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