Gay News

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  • Intro

    Gay News was launched in 1972 and continued to circulate until 1983. At the time of its launch, it was the first independent gay magazine. Other gay presses were the platform publications of political groups; 'Come Together', for example, was the mouthpiece of the Gay Liberation Front. Gay News provided an alternative eclectic publication produced by, for and about gay men and women.

     

    Like some other radical magazines at the time, Gay News faced censorship trials. In 1974 it successfully challenged an obscenity charge, provoked by a cover photograph of a male couple kissing, but in July 1977 the paper and its editor were found guilty of blasphemous libel in the first case of its kind for more than 50 years. A private media watchdog objected to the paper's publication of 'The Love that Dares to Speak its Name'; a poem by James Kirkup, which sexualised the body of Christ at the crucifixion. The editor was given a nine month suspended jail sentence and a £500 fine and Gay News was fined £1000 and made to pay £10000 in court costs. The trial provoked a backlash; many denounced the verdict and Gay News' readership grew from 8000 to 40,000.

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