Peter Tatchell: We can’t rule out possibility that Jesus was gay
Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has claimed that it is impossible to rule out the possibility that Jesus was gay.
Mr Tatchell, one of the UK’s best-known gay rights campaigners, made the claim in an article on his website.
He wrote: “Was Jesus queer? We don’t know. But it is a possibility that cannot be ruled out.
“One version of St Mark’s gospel – which is still the subject of academic dispute – alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead.”
He points to research from a US Biblical scholar, Morton Smith of Columbia University, who found an early manuscript including the passage: “The youth came to [Jesus] wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.
Mr Tatchell continues: “What we can say for certain is that the standard, accepted Biblical narrative gives us no information at all about Jesus’s sexuality.
“This absence of firm information does not, of course, mean that we can take it for granted that Christ was heterosexual. Far from it! The lack of information about his erotic inclinations begs more questions than it answers.
He adds: “In the absence of any evidence – let alone proof – that Jesus was heterosexual, the theological basis of Church homophobia is all the more shaky and indefensible.
“How can established religion dare denounce homosexuality when the founder of its faith was himself a man of mysterious, unknown sexuality who could, for all we know, have been homosexual?”
Last year, an art book attracted controversy for portraying Jesus as a gay man.
Mr Tatchell has previously threatened to out prominent Bishops within the Church of England, if they refuse to speak out against the Church’s persecution of gay clergy who marry.