Your Letters Cont.

03-197207XX-09Continued from Page 2

Littlehampton,
Sussex.

Dear Friends,

Why oh why must the minority of gay campaigners always use foul language, clown-tactics and general public rudeness? to put our case (what is our case)? over. We (the majority) don’t want it done this way.

You will find that the majority of gay people argue their way of love with calm, sensible reason. Public bodies, i.e.: Central Government, Local Government. Police and social services etc; would rather listen to sensible suggestions and requests than take heed of ‘Gay-Circus’.

Instead of constantly criticising and giving abuse to Court and Government decisions, no matter how unjust, why not try appeals, reasoned public support.

If law is unjust or a bad one then the public will have it changed, in time. Don’t treat the public as a moronic TV audience, but get about and inform them of the facts, as we see them, ask, politely, for their help. It is amazing how many people, when informed of a wrong, will give help and advice. All it takes is a PLEASE, some thing that seems to be lacking.

Why are the gay organisations segrating us from our fellow man and woman? We’re not zoo specimens, we are ordinary, yes ordinary, humans who want to live life our way, and love our way. Segregation will NOT bring public recognition of our way of life. We MUST mix, we cannot make ourselves into an island.

Why are there not more reports from CHE and CHE groups? Have these groups no Press Officers, or are they just plain lazy? There seems to be too much GLF reporting in Gay News. An organisation that does more harm than good to our campaign, it seems their one aim is to cause trouble. Does GLF now stand for: ‘Get Lost FREEDOM’? I would hate to see Gay News turn into a ‘revolutionary rag’. At the moment this news paper is what is just wanted by the more moderate majority, but please be very careful.

Remember, preach calm, reason and tolerance and we WILL win much much more support. It takes time but then thats life.

Kindest regards
Norman Redman.

 

Monday 10th July.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality has sent the following letter to United States senator George McGovern.

Dear Senator McGovern,

We are much encouraged by the pledge you have given to work for full rights for homosexuals. We urge you to resist all pressures to drop this pledge from your programme or to accord it a lower priority.

Homosexuals are discriminated against and oppressed in nearly every country in the world and any action in obtaining full civil rights for homosexuals in any one country contributes to their struggle all over the world. We in Britain have been greatly encouraged by your adoption of our cause. We earnestly hope that at this stage you will not abandon it.

Many of us sincerely hope that you will obtain the Democratic nomination and be elected President of the United States. That you will use the office to liberate social injustices that oppress them.

We wish you well.

 

CHALLENGE
6 Dauphine Court
Spencer Road
Wealdstone
Harrow

17th July, 1972

Dear Gay News.

I was very interested to read in your first issue about the furore which appeared to have developed over GLF’s representation on Jimmy Savile’s Homosexual Speakeasy program, and particularly of Michael Butler’s unfortunate involvement in this seemingly underhand business.

We were pleased to have eight members there and naturally we plugged Challenge. GLF’s only representation, out of their thousands of supporters, were three people who managed to squeeze in because they happened to be involved with Gay News.

At Challenge we were bewildered by Michael Butler’s letter:

“The BBC rang and asked me to find thirty gay people as representatives of as many gay organisations and groups as I know, excepting Gay Lib. They also talked about something called “Challenge” which I assumed to be a Gay Liberation Front venture”.

On March 16 our Secretary sent Michael Butler a letter which stated our aims and intentions very clearly. When he greeted us at the Speakeasy recording he apologised for not replying and for not taking up our invitation to come and speak at one of our meetings, so he knew what Challenge was at that time.

The suggestion that he thought “something called Challenge” was a “Gay Liberation Front venture” might possibly placate GLF by implying that in inviting Challenge he thought he was not really excluding GLF. But if one doesn’t think it right to exclude a group as large as GLF then why on earth have any part in the BBC’s plan to do so?

Love and peace.
Hugh.

 

111a High Road.
Leyton,
LONDON,
E.15 2DF

27th June, 1972.

Dear Sir:

I don’t think I am far wrong in stating that the majority of “straights” think of homosexual’s as half-men, half-women, or men who want to be women, and visa versa.

So what does GLF do? They, above everyone else, confirm the attitude and opinion of the straights by encouraging their members to come to meetings, disco’s, gay-days, and demos, etc, in drag. What for? Only GLF knows.

I was once a regular attendant at most of the London GLF meetings. One in particular was the Disco at the White Lion in Putney. But I was completely shaken, confused and (yes) shocked by what I saw. Boys wearing false-eyelashes and bright red lipstick, some even in complete drag. And men with beards and moustaches wearing women’s dresses and a baloon or pillow up the front to stimulate pregnancy. This was too much for me and I had to get away.

Now let me get one thing clear. I am not anti-transvestite. To each his own, and I would not dream of imposing my own set of morals on anyone. Let everyone do their own thing. I don’t imprison anyone. Because, like the straights, if you imprison others, you also imprison yourself. Nor do I see any harm in a bloke dressed as a bird. It’s not wrong. It’s not right. It just is. But why come to GLF and put back the cause of homosexuals 200 years or more?

We all know that every man has homosexual tendencies. That is no surprise to anyone. But if we, as homosexuals, are to be taken seriously, we have to appeal to the straights latent homosexuality. But if they think that by “coming out” of their plastic shells that they too, will become half-women, half-men, then they will NEVER come out .. and we will never be free to live our lives the way we want to live them in our own natural and beautiful way.

For God’s sake, GLF, wake up! And do what’s right. To help ourselves, we have to help others to understand us. It is just as important to learn what not to do, than what to do.

I think the whole idea of GLF needs to be pulled down and re-shaped. Throw out the pot-smoking freaks who are no help to anyone, let alone themselves, and be a bit more, if I may say so, professional.

So, members of GLF who like coming in drag, the next time there is a public demo, think before you attend it in drag. Ask yourself: “Is this really the way to be accepted? I have no doubt that it ISN’T the way.
With Love and Hope,

Wolf von Jurgen

 

The Family Planning Association.
Margaret Pyke House.
Mortimer Street, London W1A 4QW
12th July, 1972.

Dear Sirs,

I should be grateful if you would let me have a copy of your new publication.

II am especially interested in the article “The Twilight World of the Heterosexual”. (Gay News No.1)

Yours faithfully.
W.G.Smith,
Press Secretary.

Imprint

THE GAY NEWS
EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE

  • Richard Adams
    (design)
  • Martin Corbett
  • Ian Dunn
    (Scotland)
  • Denis Lemon
  • Glenys Parry
    (Manchester)
  • Doug Pollard
  • David Seligman
  • Jean-Claude Thevenin

GAY NEWS SPECIAL FRIENDS

  • Roger Baker
  • Graham Chapman
  • John Chesterman
  • Lawrence Collinson
  • Martin Grant
  • Antony Grey
  • Julian D’ Grinspoon
  • Peter MacMillan
  • Suki J. Pitcher
  • Sylvia Room
  • Manus Sasonkin
  • David Sherlock
  • Marc Fryd

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

  • Andrew & Peter
  • Jane & Shaun
  • Richard & Norman
  • Ken & Allan
  • Michael, Angus & Ken
  • and all the other
    Friends & Loved Ones.

CONTENTS

  • Editorial ___________________________ Page 2
  • The 1967 Confidence Trick ________________ Page 3
  • N.C.C.L. & Scotland _____________________ Page 4
  • Gay Pride Week _______________________ Page 5
  • The Samaritans _______________________ Page 5
  • David Hockney Interview _________________ Page 6
  • Spare Rib Attacked _____________________ Page 7
  • Het of the Month ______________________ Page 10
  • Personal Ads ________________________ Page 11
  • Information _________________________ Page 12

Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Limited
19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Telephone 01-402 7805.
Distribution: Us, You and a Prayer Book.
Printed by F.I.Litho Limited, 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Limited

Editorial

02-197206XX 1After some very trying times, issue one finally hit the streets, and the first feedback from our would-be readership began. Some of us weren’t too keen on going out to sell the paper ourselves, since there is more than enough work to do in the writing and the preparation of the paper, but the reception almost everywhere was so overwhelmingly friendly that I don’t think any of us will hesitate with this or any future issue.

Of course. there were times when some of us found it a bit trying – like being threatened by a couple of skinheads in Richmond, or being asked “If I buy one can I have you?” (the answer was yes, but the guy didn’t wait!).

People have begun to send in letters, articles, and reviews, whim is really nice and exactly what we hoped would happen – keep up the good work. The number of people dropping into the office has increased, too, which makes life a bit crowded some of the time, but they are often coming to offer help with office work, selling and distribution (all of which is very welcome) as well as just calling in for a chat.

One such visitor was Alan Brien of the Sunday Times, carried into our midst by a whirlwind born of the fleeting press interest in gay small ads, the Spare Rib party, and Jill Tweedie. As those of you who saw his piece in the Sunday Times, 25th June, must have realised, the main topic of conversation was the Radical Feminists in G.L.F. and their behaviour at the Spare Rib party. We both agreed that it was a pity, since most people will now think that Radical Feminism equals Gay Lib, whereas they are only a very small minority on its right wing. Many others in G.L.F. are leaving the movement rather than have these people’s views imposed upon them – on Monday, Harrow local group decided to split from G.L.F. and go it alone under the name “GAY UNITY”: a title which seems to be an appropriate hint to the divisive Rad. Femmes. It appears from what we hear that other groups are considering similar actions.

However, back to the paper. We have now had refusals to stock us from quite a number of bookshops around the country (including an official refusal from W.H. Smith’s on the grounds that we wouldn’t sell fast enough to justify the space we would take up). So we still need you to visit your local bookshops and newsagents as our salesmen, to put these people in touch with us. The more daces you visit the easier it will be for all of us to communicate with each other, and that’s what it’s all about.

One or two people that we met thought the first issue a bit dry, but liked it in spite of that – in fact, the response generally has made the incredible amount of work well worthwhile. Of course, for some it was too radical, for some, too conservative, but you can’t please everybody all of the time. It seems especially difficult to please the Rad. Femmes; since deciding to run the pieces on the Spare Rib party and on what they are doing to G.L.F. generally they have tried to get us to postpone issue two, censor out our opinions of them and generally forget the whole thing. We have made space available in this issue for them to give their version of the events, but at the time of writing this, it has not arrived. It seems unduly hard to make them realise that other people besides themselves have things to say, like the nicer faction of G.L.F. who demonstrated outside the Earls Court pubs. Of course, the Rad, femmes did not support the main body of G.L.F. on this part of Gay Pride week; a prefect example of the selfish way this faction operates.

Anyway, one last thought to leave you with; if you buy the paper from one of the streetsellers in London, the person will most likely be one of us, the editorial collective, so if you’ve anything to say, any articles that other people might like to read, any criticism or encouragement let rip and we’ll do something about it.

See you around.

Where Your Paper Goes From Here

02-197206XX 1This is the second issue of Gay News. There is still a long way to go. Gay women do not feature anywhere near enough. There are many areas of the country we do not reach. There is not sufficient money in the kitty to expand either the size of the distribution of the paper. All these things may be remedied in time, but with your involvement the paper will become what you want it to be much faster. We of the collective only ever intended to give you the paper and let you decide what it should become – by writing, subscribing, donating, working with us and eventually supplanting us. But before we go any further we must look at what could stop the paper happening.

The most obvious barrier to the continuance and expansion of the paper is the legal situation. Technically, anything which helps bring gay men into contact with one another can be construed as unlawful, however well-meant the attempt. Any publication which openly discusses sex and sexuality, especially when related to gay men and women, might be judged obscene. It is this which has forced us to abandon, for the time being, our plan to print the story “Shirley Temple Knows”, which we promised you for this issue. It is this which forces us to reiterate that, although we will continue to run a personal ads column, we retain the right to refuse or amend them as we see fit and according to our legal advice. Any ad which states specific sexual tastes is likely to attract unfavorable attention from the law, whilst those which seek only companionship, friendship, or someone to share a flat or holiday, may not. We will take all the precautions we can to ensure that our advertisers are protected.

The second major barrier is, of course, money. We aren’t going to put up our prices or rates unless rising costs force us to, and so it is unlikely that the paper will ever make any significant profit. This means that there will only ever be a limited amount of cash in the kitty with which we can begin to expand the paper and it’s availability. If you think that what the paper is trying to do (by its very existence) – that is, end our isolation from one another and defend our way of life – is worthwhile, then the paper needs to be available over a much wider area than it is now, and it needs a much larger number of pages. And in order to do this we need money, so that the paper can be planned well ahead instead of existing from issue to issue. So this is an appeal for donations, large and small, backers, advertisers, etc., and anything any of you can do to help us find them. We know you’ve been asked for your money thousands of times before – only this time it isn’t so somebody can do something they want to, it is so that you can do something for all of us, for yourselves, all over the country. And that isn’t just a semantic difference.

It would also be incredibly helpful if one of you (at least) would come and join us full-time in order to work almost wholly on getting the paper around the country. There isn’t much money in it worry the name, just enough for survival, so it would have to be a labour of love. Would any lady or gentleman like the job?

Afterthoughts Editorial

The 1967 Confidence Trick (1)

Law or Sexuality. Which Corrupts?

02-197206XX 2Do you believe that the 1967 Act solved everything? That it gave you the same rights as anyone else. Well, take very careful note of the words of one of their high and mighty lordships (Lord Reid) in deciding that IT was breaking the law in publishing gay personal ads. According to him, and therefore the law, there is “a material difference between merely exempting certain conduct from criminal penalties and making it lawful in the full sense.” In plain English, it’s legal, but then again, it isn’t. To the corrupt minds of their lordships, of the police, and of everyone else in a position of power over you life and mine, our homosexuality is a “vice”, a “perversion”, an “abnormality”.

It cannot be said too often that homosexuality, like any other sexuality, is about life, about people, about love, and not just about sexual practices. That human beings cannot be classified into “normal” and “abnormal”, they are simply different from one another. There is no such thing as “sexual normality”, but if “normality” means the sexual preference of the majority of the population, then it would not be heterosexuality, homosexuality or even bisexuality, but sexuality without a fixed direction. The unpleasant, impersonal things of gay life, like the cottages and sauna baths, the overpriced clubs and pubs are a result of the fear and shame specifically created by the law, because the law forbids us to meet freely as everyone else can, to advertise freely as everyone else can. To live openly and freely is our right, but the law denies this, depressing us into a less than full existence, treats us as less than human. If the way we live is depraved and corrupt (and I most strongly contend that it is not), then it is the law which is responsible for that and not our sexuality.

Which is more reprehensible – two people making love (or having sex together), or a whole organisation of people dedicated to isolating. punishing and discriminating against ordinary human beings became they make love? Which is depraved? Which is corrupt? Which harms others? Do we seek to keep any group of individuals down, to deny them less than their full rights as fellow human beings, to damage and control them because of their sexual preferences?

Look at the letters reprinted here – they are from organisations of gays working for our rights. Then consider what the law has said. It doesn’t take much to work out who cares about people, and who is depraved and corrupt


THE TIMES 19th June, 1972

HOMOSEXUALS AND THE LAW

From Mr Antony Grey and others

Sir, the undersigned are chairmen of organizations with a combined membership of over 5,000, representing the welfare of homosexual men and women throughout Britain. We have read with the gravest concern The Times’s report (June 15) of the House of Lords judgment in the case of Knullar (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd v Director of Public Prosecutions.

The effect of this would seem to be that homosexuals are prohibited from making contact with one another for non-criminal purposes through the public press – a freedom which is not denied, so far as we are aware to any other group of Her Majesty’s subjects. We deplore the House’s apparent judicial belief that homosexuals “corrupt” one another, and we are impelled to seek urgent Parliamentary action to clarify, and if necessary amend. Lord Reid’s dictum in relation to the Sexual Offences Act 1967 that there is “a material difference between merely exempting certain conduct from criminal penalties and making it lawful in the full sense”.

It was the clear wish of Parliament as expressed in that Act – supported, according to opinion polls, by two-thirds of the population – to relieve adult homosexuals of a criminal stigma which had brought much suffering to individuals and wastage to the community. Are we now to understand that this objective has been circumvented by the courts?

This seems a ludicrous and unintended outcome of reform. It is also lamentable that such old fashioned and ignorant views about the nature of homosexuality apparently still persist in high judicial quarters (eg Lord Hailsham’s quaint notion, expressed on television this week, that it is simply a “vice”). We think it is time for those who lay down the law to do some elementary psychological homework.

Yours faithfully.
ANTONY GREY,
Chairman, National Federation of Homophile Organizations,
MARJORIE BRYANTON,
General Secretary, NFHO,
TONY CROSS,
Chairman, Integroup.
IAN C. DUNCAN,
Chairman, Scottish Minorities Group.
BRENDA GODFREY,
Chairman, New Group, Manchester.
ALLAN HORSFALL,
Chairman, Campaign for Homosexual Equality,
SHARON M. MURRAY, North Eastern Women’s Group,
65 Shoot-up Hill, NW2
June 19.

The Scotsman, 21st June, 1972

PUBLIC MORALS

214 Clyde Street. Glasgow,
June 16, 1972.

Sir, – The decision by the House of Lords on Wednesday, 14th June, that the publishers of “It” had been rightly convicted on a charge of conspiring to corrupt public morals by inserting “gay” advertisements in the magazine, cannot be allowed to pass by without comment.

That conspiracy to corrupt public morals was a crime known to the law of England, was decided by the House of Lords in the “Ladies Directory Cae” in 1962. This decision adversely affected the defences provided by Section 2(4) of the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 where the essence of the offence was “tendency to deprave and corrupt” The Solicitor-General assured the House of Commons on 3rd June 1964 that “a conspiracy to corrupt public morals would not be charged so as to circumvent the statutory defence in Section 4,” but no effective action was ever taken by Parliament to draw the legal professions notice to this directive.

In the “It” case, it is important to remember that the prosecution made no point whatsoever that males under 21 would likely to reply to the advertisements.

The appellants argued that because homosexual acts between mades in private were now lawful by the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 (both parties being over 21), it could not therefore be the law that other persons were guilty of an offence if they merely put in touch two males who would, perhaps, indulge in perfectly lawful activity. This argument was dismissed by their Lordships, who, in a very narrow reading of the 1967 Act, said that if people chose to corrupt themselves in that way it was their affair and the law would not interfere, but no licence was given to others to encourage the practice.

The effect of this deliverance must be gloomy news indeed for all those who hoped for more understanding towards the many problems which millions of homosexual men and women have to face. How are like-minded men and women to meet in a lawful manner? No other minority group in Britain is today discriminated against in such a total way. The decision must adversely affect the gradual improvements being won by such organisations as the Scottish Minorities Group who over the past two or three years have been talking with the caring professions and encouraging new thinking towards counselling homosexuals. What now happens when a doctor, a clergyman, a social worker or a lawyer introduces two isolated men with the express aim of bringing about a happy and creative union? We are told that the law is being broken. It is a fallacy that homosexuals usually wish to meet for the purposes of having sexual intercourse. A principal aim of the SMG is to organise social occasions where homosexuals can meet, and thus banish the foul atmosphere of the public bath and the public lavatory.

And in doing just this, SMG has been highly successful. ls this useful activity now to be viewed with opprobrium?

Neither the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, nor the 1967 Sexual Offences Act apply to Scotland. However, we are assured that “in practice the law in enforced in Scotland in much the same way as it is in England” (Civil Liberty – The NCCL Guide, p. 293). The effect of the House of Lords’ decision is to throw

P.T.O.

Obsolete or Not

02-197206XX 3The Law Relating To Homosexual Acts In Scotland by Robert Thomson, Secretary, Scottish Council for Civil Liberties.

Most people in other parts of Britain do not realise that Scotland has a separate legal structure with many fundamental differences to that in England and Wales. Some Acts of Parliament do not apply to Scotland and many items of government policy need separate legislation: for example, going through Parliament at present is the Housing Finance (Scotland) Bill which seeks to increase local authority rents in Scotland as does the Housing Finance Bill in England and Wales. The chief law officer in Scotland is the Lord Advocate – at present Norman Wylie, QC, MP. He combines the duties of the Lord Chancellor, Attorney-General and the Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales. Through his Department, the Crown Office in Edinburgh, he controls prosecutions throughout Scotland by a system of Procurator Fiscals. The Fiscals are similar to District Attorneys in the United States.

“I asked the Crown Office about this and I was informed that efforts have been made to find when the last prosecution of two consenting adult males took place but nobody was able to remember a single one… and the fact is that they have never done so in living memory so far as I can ascertain.”

So said the Earl of Dundee on 13 June 1967 during a debate on the Sexual Offences Bill. His point was the main argument for not including Scotland in the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.

However. as late as 1970 when the Crown Office was approached directly on this matter, it transpired that their policy was much more illiberal than supposed. The c Crown Agent stated that those laws which related exclusively to male homosexual behaviour were enforced in so far as it was possible to do so but that since most homosexual acts were conducted in private and because of the Scots Law requirement of corroboration, prosecutions seldom, if ever, arose.

It would seem, therefore. that some duplicity and hypocrisy was practiced at the time the Sexual Offences Bill was going through Parliament. If some item of legislation is not being enforced, surely that is an argument for removing it from the Statute Book rather than for retaining it. Obsolete legislation bring the whole legal system into disrepute.

This type of hypocrisy exemplifies establishment attitudes in Scotland. Sex is not a “nice” subject. “Decent” people don’t discuss it or even admit it exists. This form of repression permeates Scotland, for example, regarding the licencing laws, places of entertainment and Sunday observance. The reasons for this altitude are complex but the historical role of the Church of Scotland is an important factor.

The facts, then, are that for practical purposes the law is not enforced though there would seem to have been some prosecutions of men for acts with younger men or boys, convictions are usually gained through voluntary confessions. However there are many convictions for acts of public indecency in toilets to which homosexuals are driven because of the lack of social meeting places.

The law (Section II Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885) remaining on the Statute Book encourages social discrimination of homosexuals, makes them feel insecure and open to blackmail and fosters prejudice. Scotland is a relatively small country with few large cities; because of the prevailing attitude, described above, any person admitting or being “found out” as gay, faces loss of job and social ostracism. This includes women who, though they don’t face let penalties, are in many ways worse off, certainly in the availability of solid meeting places.

In 1971 the following motion was passed at the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties:

“This AGM notes the continuing social and legal inequalities of the homosexual in Scotland and recommends to the Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Civil Liberties Group to press for sound legal reforms for an early removal of remaining discrimination.”

Together with the Scottish Minorities Group which is affiliated to the SCCL, it is campaigning for law reform. The Scottish Minorities Group was set up to look after the interests of sexual minorities in Scotland.

A memorandum prepared by SMG was sent to all Scottish MPs. In a covering letter the SCCL stated:

“We adopt as our basic principle the view that sexual activity of any description between consenting parties should not be subject to legal constraints, with exceptions only in the case of provisions necessary to protect the young and immature and to prevent public indecency. We also believe that social discrimination against minorities such as homosexuals is unjustifiable but it can only be eliminated when the law ceases to discriminate.”

Copies of the memorandum were also sent to social workers and other organisations. The press were informed but published little.

The response of Scottish MPs to the memorandum was disappointing. We received replies from a number of MPs who said they would actively oppose any attempt to change the law. The majority of other replies said “Yes, I agree with you but let sleeping dogs lie”. Those MPs who offered to help all thought it was hot the best time to try and introduce reform. Our most helpful replies were from several members of the House of Lords.

Frankly, it seems unlikely that we will get any constructive action from the present Parliament since the “hang ‘em and fog ‘em” brigade seem to be in the ascendancy. However, one of our lawyers has prepared a draft Bill which we hope to introduce into the House of Lords sometime this year to test Parliamentary and public reaction. In addition, members of the Law Reform Committee of SMG have been personally lobbying MPs and this line of attack seems very useful.

The SCCL has been involved mainly in the campaign for legal equality, SMG has been doing a first-class job in contacting and speaking to social workers, churches, university organisations, local councillors MPs and school teachers. This kind of face-to-face contact will do more than any law case, to dispel the public image of the homosexual as some effeminate sex pervert and lead to the realisation that they an ordinary decent citizens attracted to their own sex.

The SCCL

The SCCL is the Scottish arm of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)

All the SCCL’s work is done by voluntary helpers; solicitors and advocates, trade unionists and academics, social workers and housewives. There is a Scottish sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Civil Liberties Group.

Members of the NCCL living in Scotland an automatically members of the SCCL. Membership is administered by the NCCL. The SCCL receives half the subscription fees of Scottish members.


SCOTTISH MINORITIES GROUP.

MEETINGS;
EDINBURGH, from 7.45pm to 9.00pm in the basement of 23 George Square. Check with Mike Coulson at 031-225 4395. Women’s Group at 7.30pm. Saturdays from 9.30pm to 12.30pm coffee/food/dance at the same address.

GLASGOW, meetings every Tuesday at 8.00pm an 8 Dunham Street, Glasgow C4. Women’s Group at 184 Swinton Road, at 8.00pm. Third Friday of every month at 214 Clyde Street (library of community house) invited speakers, from 8pm.

DUNDEE, every Friday at Dundee University Chaplaincy. Social. Details from 041-771 7600.

ABERDEEN, Weekly social meetings, Details from 041-771 7600.

Local Folk Are Just Not Shockable

02-197206XX 3Many thanks for your letter of 2nd June sorry for the delay in writing but one or two points that you have wanted have had to be obtained from other persons so it’s taken this bit of time to obtain it.

Let’s take it point by point – firstly, what’s it like to be gay in Norfolk. By comparisons with London no pressures exist – this I feel is the season for the exodus of gays from London to Norfolk. We’re having a lot of them lately, some just for the summer others coming permanently. It’s an interesting study to note how they change after a few weeks, more tranquil, less militant. The most surprising thing to them is if they want to shock for any reason at all it doesn’t have effect. Local folk are just not shockable – we’ve got good examples of this to quote.

Police harrasment – none recorded and none known of; this has been verified by cruisers and not heresay. The only possible connection is two uniformed ones who stand by one con in the centre of town but these are there for other reasons as well – not specific harrasment. This was covered some time ago when a blow-up occurred in Cambridge and it was suggested (probably to strengthen the Cambridge case) that it was happening in Norwich as well, but when it was checked with the people it would have affected none was reported.

Samaritan connections very good (well, we think so) one CHE member and one GLF member on the staff. Besides the Sams we have another advertised system called (for want of a better word) Gemini. Anyone can ring the number. Differences between CHE and GLF an explained meeting dates etc., the choice is then left to the person concerned.

VD clinics – nothing out of the ordinary reported from people who had used them. Doctors – only two who are reasonable which is poor considering the amount of registered GPs in the area.

Pubs and clubs – again only two, the club is the Jacquard, Magdalene Street, and the pub is Studio 4 behind Anglia Television. At the latter parties are held above the pub at intervals which attract about 150 approx. from an area covering Colchester Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have no local campaigns except connections with national ones – this is due to the fact that GLF and CHE have only just come into being in the last six months.

Well, that’s a little info. Hope I can visit you some day when I’m in town – if the office is not open all the time is there another contact I can make?

Yours
Tony
19 Braydeston Crescent
Brundall
NOR 86 Z

Danger! Police At Work

02-197206XX 3All the cottages in battersea Park are under continual surveillance by the police (plain clothed), and a guy was recently arrested at the popular one by the athletics track. After arrest by a plain-clothes-man he was taken to the superintendent of the park, so that in future he would be easily recognisable. When he appeared in court he sentanced to three months imprisonment, was fined £100 (for a first offence!), also suspended for three years, and banned from battersea Park for one year. Another guy, for whom it was a second offence, was fined £400. (All at the magistrates court, Lavender Hill, where there is a virtual stream of similar ‘offenders’.

So DON’T GO TROLLING IN BATTERSEA PARK COTTAGES – or if you do, you know what to expect.

London University Gays

02-197206XX 4CHE and GLF have got together at London University to found a Homophile Society – GAYSOC. So far it has been an object-lesson in co-operation between the two organisations. If nothing else, GAYSOC will be the front behind which gay students of all different persuasions can come together officially, both to speak as a gay voice in student and University affairs where this is needed, and to provide social facilities for themselves similar to those abundantly available for straights. It will also be a means of action.

At our first meeting we necessarily concerned ourselves with organisation and business, but things really livened up at our second meeting. For this we had as guest speaker the noted aversion-therapist Dr. Bancroft of Oxford University. He was not surprisingly, strongly attacked, and though very little constructive dialogue emerged, at least the important issues were aired, and we had a chance to hear the therapist’s justification of his job.

Direct action was taken within three weeks of our starting when almost twenty GAYSOC members turned up at a straight University disco. We were seemingly regarded with amusement or indifference until about an hour from the end when two members were told to leave – “so that the boys and girls can have the last half hour to themselves”; The source of the trouble, apparently, was a number of women (who had got in free) who seemed to regard themselves as having been insulted. No men had complained. We solved this problem by gathering together quickly in a group and making it clear that we were not going to be forced to leave. After the failure of their strong-arm tactics, further intimidation by officials of the disco took the form of herding us into one corner of the dance floor and telling us not to break the law. We ignored this, and they retaliated by playing no slow records from then on. We all left when we felt like it. Next day a notice was placed prominently in the building explaining our case. We regard this whole affair as a significant success; hopefully we may have opened the eyes of a few straights, and it certainly helped to build up a feeling of solidarity between our members. Similar activities are planned for next term.

Our contact address is: GAYSOC. University of London Union, Malet Street, London, W.C.1.

Robert Maynard