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An Open Letter to all Gay Organisations

It’s depressing to have to be continually critical of the gay organisations; they are all much needed and have their work cut out for them attempting to procure changes in existing legislation and in society’s attitudes towards homosexuality. But it is important that these organisations co-operate with each other, and more importantly, that they are tolerant, amiable and useful to the very people whom they are trying to get the necessary changes for.

So it seems to us here at Gay News that it is unnecessarily silly and bureaucratic when we hear that when a person rang up the Manchester office of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality to enquire about where gay rendezvous are in Norwich, that he should be rudely refused this information. He was told that because he was not a member of CHE that such details could not be given to him despite the fact that the person involved did not know Norwich at all and that he would probably have to spend his time there completely on his own. Or resort to cottaging, the only other means available to him if he did not know anywhere else to go to meet gay company.

CHE is very much against cottaging. Surely to refuse information about pubs and clubs is encouraging it. London GLF too, in the past, has refused such information to people on their own in a strange city or to visitors to this country. Enquirers have received comments like all pubs etc. are ghettoes and that it is reactionary to patronise them. Such dogmatism surely hasn’t been influential in gaining them more understanding and support.


Gay News hopes that we will not have to be critical in this way again. It is bad enough that so many gay men and women are isolated and lonely. Before any other changes come about this is the most significant problem to concentrate on, and work out effective ways of removing it forever.

Don ’t you think CHE, that a good beginning to changing the present lot of so many gays would be to start treating others with a little more respect, helpfulness and friendliness?

Denis Lemon

Denis Lemon

1945-1994. Denis was one of the founders of Gay News and was perhaps most famous for being sued by Mary Whitehouse when, as editor, he published a poem in 1976 by James Kirkup that she felt was 'blasphemous'. He was fined £500 and sentenced to 9 months in prison suspended for 8 months. The Court of Appeal later quashed the sentence. He died of complications from AIDS in 1994 and was survived by his partner Nick Purshouse.
Denis Lemon

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Author: Denis Lemon

1945-1994. Denis was one of the founders of Gay News and was perhaps most famous for being sued by Mary Whitehouse when, as editor, he published a poem in 1976 by James Kirkup that she felt was 'blasphemous'. He was fined £500 and sentenced to 9 months in prison suspended for 8 months. The Court of Appeal later quashed the sentence. He died of complications from AIDS in 1994 and was survived by his partner Nick Purshouse.

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