WE have just learned of the death of James Kirkup, the British poet who was reluctantly catapulted to notoriety in the 1970s after his homosexual poem, The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name, landed Gay News and its editor, Denis Lemon, in the dock for “blasphemous” libel.
Kirkup died at his home in Andorra on May 10. He was 91 – the same age Christian prodnose Mary Whitehouse was when she snuffed it in 2001.
It was Whitehouse, of course, who brought the successful private prosecution against Gay News and Lemon.
Whitehouse was an infamous homophobe and bigot.
According to The Times:
Her fear of homosexuals was visceral. She claimed that homosexuality was caused by abnormal parental sex â€˜during pregnancy or just after’. Being gay was like having acne: â€˜Psychiatric literature proves that 60 per cent of homosexuals who go for treatment get completely cured’. It was with this sort of nonsense (in her first book, Whatever Happened to Sex?) that she was ushered into the Establishment in the 1970s and permitted to pray in the Old Bailey corridors for the conviction of Gay News.
Whitehouse, coincidentally, was back in the news last week when John Beyer, the anti-porn campaigner who took over from the Nation’s Nanny learned to his horror that a portrait of the loathsome old cow, together with Cliff Richard – another insufferable Christian – had been cleverly created from images snipped from smutty top-shelf magazines.
Beyers, who heads a failed little “Christian values” outfit called Mediawatch-UK, huffed:
To have her memory besmirched is contemptible and passÃ©. He needs to grow up.
The “he” refers to acclaimed portrait artist Jonathan Yeo. Yeo’s portrait went on display last week at West End gallery. It has a price tag of Â£25,000.
Mediawatchwatch carried the story under the headline Prude’s pornographic portrait peeves prissy protÃ©gÃ©.
Beat that if you can!
Hat tip: Andy Armitage of the Pink Triangle Trust.