Gay and Lesbian Humanist

December 2008 Issue

If you’d rather read G&LH than spend time with the in-laws, the December issue is now online. Alternatively, if you’ve already done the festive thing and are now stuffed with mince pies and sherry, why not take a look now!

The new issue of Gay and Lesbian Humanist is now available at and we end the year with controversy, courtesy of the human-rights campaigner and G&LH contributor Peter Tatchell.

If you’re gay and in the UK, your blood is tainted, he says. That, anyway, is the view of the organisation that spends much of its time and budget appealing for that precious commodity: blood.

“We all now carry the mark of the HIV ’Anti-Christ’,” writes Tatchell in our special feature on blood donation, and why gays are not allowed to donate.

Added to this reproduction of Tatchell’s Guardian article is additional material he has provided as evidence that many sensible people and organisations believe the British National Blood Service’s attitude is downright wrong.

We recently witnessed the annual World AIDS Day, and we have chosen to mark the occasion with a bit of controversy. There are some people who believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, and one of our contributors, John Lauritsen is one of them.

We’ve chosen his Winter 2003 article AIDS: A Death Cult for our “Out of Print” feature – articles taken from the print edition of G&LH. It caused a ruckus at the time, and brought a veritable bombardment of letters, most of which angrily berated Lauritsen for his views, and the magazine’s editor for allowing them to be aired.

So, as well as the article, we also reprint the letters, followed by the author’s response and the editor’s defence of his decision to publish. Will it (or any articles in G&LH) move you to want to have your say? Feel free. We’ll print letters. If you have a feature article just itching to be published, tell us about that, too.

In an article simply called Freethought, Dean Braithwaite touches on both these issues as he asks: What constitutes freethought?

Also in this issue, Maryam Namazie tells us why – when more and more sharia courts are coming online in the UK – there should be “one law for all”. And, with an interest in possession by demons heightened by a BBC TV series called Apparitions, Matthew Thompson looks at exorcism.

Many humanists and freethinkers have argued for an education system free from religious schools. Are the issues as black or white as we think? Simon Barrow of the religious think tank Ekklesia brings us a special report.

Have you thought about your funeral yet? Many have, and many are choosing nonreligious ones. Neil Richardson has been looking at the issues, and has even found that some humanist funerals are little different from some religious ones.

You can’t have helped noticing the time of year. Some call it Christmas. Some like to leave the C-word out of it and call it something else. Andy Armitage argues in favour of putting the Christ back into Christmas – if only as a syllable – and tells us how he worshipped the heavenly babe wearing blackface while having a crush on a different sort of heavenly babe.

Not only Christians celebrate what we call Christmas, as Roy Saich tells us in another seasonal article, in which he also explores the origins of the crib.

Our regular blog features this month bring us into contact with Baal’s Bum. That’s a blogger, not a piece of the god’s anatomy. Baal’s Bum writes incisive, if rather informal, exegetic material for his blog, Anal Iced Bible – our featured blog in our “Blogwatch” feature. And “On the Blog” looks at what’s been taking the fancy of the writers over at the Pink Triangle blog – this magazine’s sister publication – and majors on the Roman Catholic Church.

Warren Allen Smith has a smorgasbord, as usual, of chitchat in his Gossip from Across the Pond feature. Why is God in the dock, and what is the naked truth about Harvey Fierstein?

Airings airs Who this month. The good Doctor is rarely far from our thoughts – but, then, he does have rather a large gay male following, for reasons often pondered upon.

After last month’s controversy over the book chain Waterstone’s decision to cancel a planned signing and reading by the Welsh poet Patrick Jones (see our lead news story), we feature another of his poems – this time to with seasonal significance.

From this issue, we’ll be featuring the excellent Jesus and Mo cartoon strip. The author manages to come up with a new cartoon every few days, it seems, and has compiled several books of them, which feature Jesus and Muhammad in conversation, either over a drink at the Cock and Bull pub (we assume Mo is on lemonade) or in bed (not in a sexual way, we hasten to add), and occasionally at their computers or on a park bench.

We also bring you our usual round up of news, including stories from various corners of the globe in “World Watch”, with George Broadhead.

And Steven Dean has an appointment with the doctor. Sorry, the Doctor. Or wishes he had. Wishes he had an appointment with the Doctor Who’s on his Christmas list, that is. Or one of them. Or all of them. Oh, you’ll have to read him to find out what this is all about.

So enjoy the magazine – let us know your thoughts. We’re always keen to hear from you. And here’s wishing you all the best for 2009.

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Created : Saturday, 2009-01-10 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2009-02-18
Brett Humphreys :