No-one, no matter how many gowns and wigs they wear, degrees and titles they hold, has any moral right to dictate to anyone how they shall find their lovers. For the majority, it is quite rightly accepted that the law cannot tell you to remain in isolation. But the law has now finally decided that it can and it will impose both these restrictions on the gay people in this country – the law in the shape of the House of Lords has decided that International Times was breaking the law in publishing small ads for gays. In other words, it might be legal for two consenting adults to go to bed together, but it’s illegal to do anything in order to “promote” the occurence of this.
The law does not realise that it is not a case of “promoting” bizarre sexual practices – it is in fact a case of helping people who are kept in isolation by their social and legal situation to find one another and perhaps bring love into their lives. Homosexuality is, after all, about love, as is any other form of sexuality. Heterosexuals are allowed to contact one another in any way they wish – small ads, computers, specially designed magazines – in order to break any isolation they might find themselves in, but we are expected to be martys to an antiquated mode of thought and legal system which has so far given us one inadequate crumb of comfort, with which we are supposed to creep back into our caves and ghettoes and be grateful. Well were not, and we wont be until the law reflects the facts – that we are people the same as anyone else, that we are not carriers of some contagious “perversion”, that we love and live much like anyone else and have a perfect right to do so.
And as for the false distinction everyone is intent on drawing between love and sexual activity – what is wrong with sex for the sake of it? It is a normal healthy appetite like any other which needs feeding like any other. Granted it’s nicer (we think) with someone you love, but it’s also fun with anyone who attracts you. Surely no-one still hangs on to the recrimination and guilt which has been woven about sex and has led so many people into either hypocrisy or frustration throughout their whole lives?
But there it is – the situation is clearly worsening for us; this present case is only another stage in the repression we suffer. Entrapment is increasing at a frightening rate – after arresting 120 guys in two cottages in the short space of two months in Harrow, protests where made and the local council warned the police off. But did this deter them? They are now doing much the same things on the same sort of scale in nearby Watford. Such instances are not special or isolated, but typical.
Our small ads column is still there, and will continue to be. With a little care on your part and ours we can steer a course round the law, or perhaps through it. Love may laugh at locksmiths – it also laughs at laws.
Gay News Emergency Editorial.