Box 69

03-197207XX-04The Sunday Times,
2nd July, 1972

Sir, It is astonishing that there has not been complete public outrage at the sentences on the editors of IT, a perfect example of structuring the law to maintain, in Mr. Robert Mark’s contention, the social status-quo. It may therefore, be useful to throw some light on the way the law works in relation to homosexuals.

Having recently lost a very dear partner, whom I found through the columns of IT, and being ill-attuned to transitory relationships, I wished to advertise in the “Lonely Hearts” column of the well-known “underground magazine” “Time Out”. However, their legal advisor found my advertisement unacceptable because I wanted to meet “younger guys” and they considered this implied subsequent sexual intercourse. So I tried again seeking a partner for a cheap car-camping holiday, “preferably in the Loire”. This again returned because of the “younger guys” phrase (the most rewarding and enduring relationships that I have been fortunate enough to experience have all started with rather intelligent young men in their early twenties) and because I did not stipulate that expenses were to be shared. Frankly. I wasn’t worried if they were or not.

So I tried once again saying that I was a homosexual seeking an understanding younger woman with whom I might start a family. This went into the magazine without question, and I met some really nice girls. So, despite the change on the status books, the conclusion is inescapable that the law regards it as an offence for two men to go to bed with each other, but not a man and a woman.

On the other hand, this same magazine carries many advertisements in which “Attractive male model”, “Attractive male art student, “Adaptable young man” etc seek “remunerative evening work”. Anyone answering these ads will find that most of them are male prostitutes soliciting clients. I have no quarrel with this magazine which gives admirable coverage to social and political problems that the establishment press ignores, but with the law itself, which apparently finds ads. of the latter kind perfectly acceptable.

It is typical of the corrupt and hypocritical society in which we live, the society that Mary Whitehouse and her kind would like to perpetuate, that graft and vice are permissible, whilst decency, honesty and enriching human relationships are not.

Yours etc James Stevens. London W.14.

This is the complete text of the letter sent to the Sunday Times.

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