Front cover, issue #5

05-197208XX

Fourteen –
Old enough to wear long trousers.
Old enough to protect my sister in the dark of the night.
But I am not old enough to choose the way I love.

Fifteen –
I joined the army today.
I’ve grown up now, you see.
Yes.
I’m old enough to kill…
or to be killed.
And yet…
I am not old enough to choose the way I love.

Eighteen –
Now I really am a man.
Because I am old enough to marry, and to raise a family.
I’m old enough to drink in pubs –
No more kids shandies for me.
Yes, I can even vote.
But still…
I am not old enough to choose the way I love.

Twnety-one at last.
The day has finally come.
The way I love is mine to choose.
The only trouble is…
those I love,
are not old enough to choose
the way they love.

Love’s Laws by Karmon

Imprint

THE GAY NEWS EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE

05-197208XX 1Richard Adams (Design), Martin Corbett, Ian Dunn (Scotland), Denis Lemon, Glenys Parry (Manchester), Suki J. Pitcher, Doug Pollard, David Seligman, Jean-Claude Thevenin
and
Julie Frost, Julian D. Grinspoon, Peter Holmes, Alister McGregor, Richard Turner, Peter Waldschmidt.

GAY NEWS SPECIAL FRIENDS

Roger Baker, Ian D. Baker, Graham Chapman, John Chesterman, Denis Cohn, Lawrence Collinson, Brian Dax, Barry Conley, Martin Grant, Antony Grey, Peter MacMillan, Sylvia Room, Manus Sasonkin, David Sherlock, Mike Winters.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

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

CONTENTS

Letters Page 2
News Page 3
National Page 4
Telegraph Shock Page 5
Featurettes Page 6
Featurettes, Reviews Page 7
A Lot More than One Alice Page 8
Reviews Pages 9, 10
Personal Ads Page 11
Ads ‘n’ info Page 12

Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Ltd., 19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Tel 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 Ltd.

Editorial

05-197208XX 1We said it once. We are saying it again. We are short of money, and we need more. Not to expand the paper. Not to improve it. Just to keep it in existence. And we wouldn’t need to say that if our shops paid us promptly.

Most news is pessimistic — which is pretty well inevitable in the present situation of gay people. We are, after all, a frightened, fighting, persecuted minority, especially at the moment.

But …. where is the optimism, the creative side of gay life? What are we doing that is positive and fun? Not much.

The collective has heard a lot in these past few weeks about why we ought not to have started a gay newspaper, about how we are singling out gay people and setting them apart from everyone else, about how we are publicising the elements of gay life that many of us would like to forget or pretend didn’t exist. We’ve also had favourable comment to far outweigh this. But we feel we ought to make it clear why we disagree with our detractors on this point.

Firstly, The business of creating gay groups, papers, and so forth, serves a very great need. If someone thinks they are the only homosexual in the world, publicly gay things show them that they are not, show them things they can be part of. If someone is in any kind of trouble because they are gay, then that affects all of us, because we are gay too, and “there but for the grace of god go I”. We must be in a position to help one another.

Secondly. The gay scene that does exist is largely created for gay people by non-gay people, who do not understand us and our way of life as well as we do. They are in it because they know that if a place is passable but also gay, it will make them money. Mind you, we are getting more discerning. The Hummabum Club only stayed open a short while – people realised that it was a rip-off operation and weren’t going to fall for it.

But because the places for us to meet are few, and so many of us are isolated from one another because we do not feel able to be what we are openly at all times, we tend to be aggressively single-minded about getting someone home to bed when we do meet en masse. And this leads to the unthinking and inhuman treatment of other people as bed-fodder, judging them solely on the basis of their look and style, not as people.

We don’t like that attitude very much. It’s so much nicer going to bed with people you like, people you know, people you care about – in other words, to have friends you get to bed with now and again.

Thirdly. We believe in honesty. At all times, in all places. It’s incredibly hard. It hurts, especially if you’re not used to it. But it is really worth it. It really is worth the effort. So playing straight is not our game – indeed, we try not to play any games, or if we do, at least be aware of them.

So, at the moment, there is very little of value …. for the simple reason that anything gay people have has been granted or provided after much pressure by the very begrudging majority. A majority that is ignorant of us, doesn’t like us, and doesn’t want us. So we end up with what they think we deserve — and most of it is very dingy and expensive tat. If we really want anything of lasting value, we must create it ourselves; get together and do it. If that means staying an isolated minority for a while, that’s exactly what they want us to be. But it also means that we can show them, prove to them that we can do very well without them thank you, that we don’t need them. That we have every bit as much to offer to the human race as they have, and if they want it, they must come and get it. We here at Gay News don’t want two worlds, gay and non-gay. We want one world for everybody. For all that to happen, they must see us, know us, respect us, and actively want to be part of what we are doing as much as some of us want to be part of what they are doing (and that involves conventional society changing too – we don’t want to be part of it as it stands).

We made our beginning with a newspaper. Others do it in the various movements (though it would help if the movements stopped bitching one another and actually got together to do something). We would hope that the paper will stay out of those inter-movements politics, bridge some of the gaps, and perhaps become a nucleus for the more positive side of gay culture. At the moment we are preoccupied with trying to survive. But what we want to do …… to be really national, with regional offices, to have really much less cramped premises here, to start a counselling service for people in trouble, to run a club. We get letters, lots of them, that show how cut off, how lonely, how tired-of-things-as-they-are people are. We want to do something about it. All of us, all of you.

If we could all get together and do something like that, we could spawn a whole new beginning for straight society as well as for ourselves. It’s a dream. It’s a long way into the future. It could start now. But does anybody care?

Your Letters

05-197208XX 1Cliftonville
Margate
Kent

Dear Friends,

Having lived in the borough of Margate for a year and a half, I am finding it not as dead as I at first thought. Gay people are gradually turning up here and there, and trying to form some sort of social get together. It is always a slow process, as people still seem to like the ‘exciting’ cottage pick-up rather than respectable social introductions. Love is a very beautiful thing, if used properly and wisely.

As a yogi priest or monk, I have found out a lot about life in my thirty-nine years in this period of my full spiritual development. Gay people can love God without any feeling of guilt, as long as they are true to their nature, sincere and loyal, and steer away from man-made religions and all the unhappiness and guilt they have caused.

My personal advice to gay people is to form loyal balanced friendships with as many people as possible, with or without sexual love. To keep healthy trim bodies as far as possible, and to love God through nature and peace.

Clive


Reading Gay Alliance
Room 7
30 London Road
Reading, Berks.

Dear Gay News,

Firstly, many congratulations on the launching and production of this much-needed paper. We in R.G.A. are much impressed by what you have so far produced and wish you all success for many editions to come.

Reading Gay Alliance is a group of gay people formed to promote the interests of homosexuals in our area. We are an umbrella organisation consisting of CHE and GLF members, both men and women, including people who do not belong to any existing established group.

Fortnightly we publish a newsletter for all interested parties, called Gay Arrow, and this, and any other information about us, can be obtained by writing to the above address.

Yours very sincerely

Reading Gay Alliance.


Pittville Circus,
Cheltenham.

Dear Collective,

Some random thoughts about you, provoked by No. 3. First, thank you for existing. The personal ad column alone should have demonstrated to the MPs you visited that you perform a valuable social function. With a background much like that of ‘Neville Gadd’, I too wondered what I was letting myself in for. I have so far only found one item offensive, and that was the advertisement for the Maltese meat market in No. 3. If the law ever descends on you, it will have been provoked not surely by your ads (though they may provide the legal pretext) but by the degrading tone of letters such as this. I wonder if others thought it inappropriate for what aspires to be a national newspaper?

I appreciate that as a collective your right hand may not know what its left hand is doing, but I wish one of them could spare the time for a bit of proofreading! If I lived in London. I’d come and do the job for you free. It’s a shock to see Samaritans’ spelt ‘Samaratians’ in a headline! Accuracy of detail is, I’m afraid, an essential element in the confidence one puts in a newspaper.

It would help if you mentioned whether answers to ads have to be individually stamped one might want to answer two at once or enclose one in a letter to you, and presumably you forward them under separate cover.

Some of your statements I find very baffling. How could Doug Pollard find ‘unpleasant and unnecessary moral attitudes’ in that valuable article on VD? It would need an advanced case of persecution mania to discover any moral attitude whatever in that clinically dispassionate prose. Let’s have more of it!

Finally. ‘Neville Gadd’ is missing a lot in life, I fear, through his preoccupation with the ‘age barrier’ whatever that is. The fact is surely that the number of years one has lived hat precious little to do with one’s value and charm as a human being. Different aspects of the human entity age at different rates, some people improve physically as they mature; some seem to grow younger with age. I know of one 44″-chested butch of 50 who is twice the man he was as a sallow short-sighted priggish bookworm of 25. I wonder whom of the two Neville would prefer?

David Blount


Campaign for Homosexual Equality,
28 Kennedy Street,
Manchester.

Dear Mr. N

Thank you for your letter received the other day with regard to “Gay News”. I am sorry that you did not like this publication but would point out that it is an independent newspaper and in no way a CHE enterprise. I am, therefore sending your letter on to “Gay News” for them to deal with.

Yours sincerely.
Paul Temperton
General Secretary.

London, N.4.

Dear Sir,

I am a member of CHE and belong to Group 12 London. Last Thursday evening I bought a copy of a paper called Gay News no. 3. Well of all silly papers I ever read.

On page 3 there is a small advert about “Danger Police at Work” in toilets. Does this mean all other toilets are safe?

On page 8 there is an article on V.D., which does not give one much confidence about going to be treated. In 30 years of going to be treated never has anyone ever said anything to me. Also on page 8 the Samaritans comes in for a bash Where does one go for advice? Can you suggest?

On page 7 there is an article on the “Biograph”. So gay so wonderful. But no mention of the people who get a good bashing there.

Also on page 7 there is an article on the CHE correspondence column being used for procuring sex. Does this mean that CHE will help a person if letters are opened by Police?

I would go on if this fell into the hands of a young person it would do damage. For instance the address of two cottages to add to list. I never knew that cottages were gay in Battersea Park.

I though that CHE was to bring people’s mind above cottage level.

If anyone wanted to prove that homosexuals are dirty and depraved here is the very paper.

Yours with Disgust.

B.N


London S.E.11.

Dear Gay News.

I have just read your first issue and would like to reply to Lord Arran’s comments.

Whilst he expresses concern for our “sociological and spiritual position” he fails to see why we need our own newspapers.

Homosexuals are a part of the community but within this we are a distinct social group, whose existence society would suppress. The images of ourselves with which we live are those fostered by heterosexuals and it is a lack of a common Gay identity, and the resultant isolation which has led to the personal problems of so many homosexuals.

Straight people have the security of an established culture with which to re-act. and if we are to develop fully as individuals we must assert our own cultural identity at every opportunity.

It is for this reason that your paper is of importance to us all.

T. Howard.


“POSSE”
16, St. Saviourgate
York

Dear Gay News.

The paper seems to be going quite well; we’ve sold all bar one or two of No. 3. and people are coming back to pick up copies of Nos. 1 and 2. It’s a pity but we’re not making contact with many of the people who’re buying the paper (even though Arthur and I look anything but straight goodness knows), lots of people flash past and pick one up embarrassedly like buying Durex in the Chemists. Still, maybe time will tell.

WOOF (of Posse)


Knightsbridge,
London. S.W.1.

Dear Gay News,

I would like to congratulate you on getting a gay paper published for the benefit of gay people and after reading the first issue (I missed the second one being abroad on holiday) I feel that it is something that has long been needed. I only hope that you do not fold up like so many other mags have done in the past, i.e., Jeremey, Spartacus etc.

The price is reasonable, the cost of the ads are not excessive and the news items and features appear to be very good and easy reading. The main thing is that your paper is a means of being in touch with other gay people which can’t be bad and can only bring relief and relaxation with the possibility of meeting others like one self.

You may possibly be able to give an answer or advice to the following query.

I have been told by lots of acquaintances that quite a lot of youngsters prefer older men for company, but whilst I am not senile! (just over 40) I have tried unsuccessfully by means of ads, visits to pubs (which I am not very fond of) joining CHE, rather boring at times, without success. I wouldn’t say I was ugly but as far as I can see most youngsters prefer people their own age or thereabouts and I am not blaming them, however unfortunately I am one of the gays who are much happier in young peoples company, providing they are genuine and not making it obvious that they are tolerating one for their generosity or what they can get out of them.

Anyway it is nice to be able to put on paper ones’ thoughts and if I can be of any help in running your paper, (not selling I’m afraid), I will be only too pleased to do so in an administrative capacity, home typing etc.

I only hope I have not bored you with my letter or offended anyone and would like to wish you all the success with Gay News and hope it continues to be published and gets better as time goes on.

Charles G. Brown

If any reader wishes to contact the writer of the above letter, please send your letter care of Gay News and we will forward it on to him.


Gateshead,
Co. Durham.

Dear Gay News,

You are doing an absolutely splendid job which I would have though to be economically impossible and almost as impossible to get out a gay paper that’s representative and not dominated by one particular line.

I only hope you get the support you deserve — I’ll certainly do my best to get other people to buy it.

Richard Webster


Coleraine,
Co. Derry.
Northern Ireland

Dear Gay News.

With Ulster’s other troubles always in the headlines. who thinks of the plight of the province’s gay population?

First, the law. Under Northern Irish law, we are allowed to breath – as long as it’s in private, with consenting oxygen molecules over the age of twenty-one.

The first convenor of the now dead Belfast C.H.E. group wrote to the last two prime ministers, and received similar answers, to the effect that legal reform didn’t seem really necessary, as the old law wasn’t used very much, and anyway there didn’t appear to be any real demand for reform.

That about sums up the official attitude. The attitude of the general public is about the same as in England – the working class don’t give a monkey’s either way. the middle class are against any change in a nice system that suits them. How does one convince them that a bad. stupid law should be scrapped, rather than kept as a curiosity?

There is also the lack of facilities to consider.

Belfast has one (yes. I said one!) gay bar. There were two others about fifty-fifty, gay and straight, but they are suffering from a slight case of bomb damage at the moment. For the wanderer benighted in the backwoods, the last resort (only fucking resort!) is the lounge of the Royal Avenue Hotel.

Queen’s (?) University has a flourishing G.L.F. group – address on the back page. Drop in on them if you’re passing through, they’ll be glad to see you.

And if you’re unlucky enough to be passing through Coleraine (The wages of sin is death!) and if you’re male and under thirty, well I’m sure Gay News would let you have my address.

Also, if any reader is starting his or her studies at the New University of Ulster at Coleraine, and is interested in forming a group in this area. I would be thoroughly delighted to hear from him or her, or them.

Dear Gay News, please get my name right this time! Your last misprint, for some reason, caused extreme mirth to a straight friend – odd how one misplaced ‘u’ can have that effect.

Sam Frizzell, jnr.

Who Was Obstructing Who?

No Photographs ~ No Evidence

05-197208XX 2At approximately 11.20 pm on Saturday 12th August, 1972, Denis Lemon, a member of the editorial collective of Gay News, was arrested for allegedly ‘wilfully obstructing the passage of the footway of Wharfdale Street, London SW10’. He was released on £10 bail later that night, and appeared at Great Marlborough Street Magistrate’s Court on the morning of Monday 14th August. After pleading Not Guilty to the charge. Denis was remanded until Tuesday 22nd August. He applied for legal aid and was remanded on bail.

It is understood that Denis will be represented by a solicitor and will be calling a number of witnesses in his defence.

Wharfdale Street, SW10, is directly behind The Colherne public house in Old Brompton Road. After ‘closing time’ on the Saturday evening Denis had been acting in his official capacity as a Gay News reporter and had been taking a number of photographs of police action outside and in the nearby vicinity of the pub. After taking a number of photographs of the police directly outside The Colherne, he crossed to the opposite side of the road where he took a few more pictures, then moved to Wharfdale Street where he was arrested whilst trying to take a shot of a number of police officers ‘moving on’ a small group of people chatting in the im street.

Denis was active that evening as he was attempting to gather documented evidence of alleged ‘police harassment’ by members of the constabulary from the Chelsea Division of the Metropolitan Police Force.

Over the past few months it has become apparent to the Gay News editorial staff, from either information received at the paper’s office or personally witnessed by the members of the collective, that the level of police action outside The Colherne has been increasing. A number of people have been arrested on various occasions.

It has also been noticed that police dogs have been frequently used by the police whilst performing their duty outside the pub. This has seriously worried members of the general public as well as customers, and the use of particularly large groups of police, often exceeding 20 in number, has sometimes nearly led to unpleasant situations to say the least. Alleged too, by Colherne customers, is that unnecessary violence has been used by the police whilst performing this almost nightly ‘duty’.

Other, more serious allegations have also been made by people about this regular occurrence. Gay News is at present taking a number of statements from individuals, which in time will be handed over to the correct authorities.

Police officers who have been questioned about these activities at The Colherne have commented that they are in the area because of complaints from local residents and because of obstructions to the highway and footway. Parking on both sides of the busy road outside the pub in fact seems largely responsible for the highway being frequently congested. A report of the outcome of Denis’s hearing at the Magistrate’s Court will be in the next issue of Gay News. There will also be continuing reportage of future developments at The Colherne in Earl’s Court.


The editorial collective of Gay News would like to point out to the customers of The Colherne that they will only be taking photographs of the police and will try not to take recognisable shots of the pub’s patrons. Any photo that clearly shows the identity of either customers or the general public will have the faces blanked out if these pictures are used in Gay News or any other publication.

Tyneside CHE

05-197208xx-323 members and guests came to the first meeting of Tyneside CHF which was held in Jesmond on Tuesday, July 25th, among them members of the North Yorkshire/South Durham and Nottingham groups, and of GLF, as well as others of us whose first experience it was of a gathering of this kind. Our Convenor, David, at once demonstrated his talent for creating a relaxed, informal atmosphere by faultlessly introducing every one of us by name to the last arrivals, and Derek, who had very kindly given us his hospitality, helped to make us feel very much at home by producing coffee at just the right moment before the talking started.

David, introducing the meeting, kept up the informality by suggesting that we first get to know each other and our thoughts about the Group before getting down to the business of constitutions, committees and subscriptions at a later date. Any fears that we might turn out to be a tongue-tied lot were quickly dispelled, and some pretty lively discussion took, place on the balance we should keep between carrying out the campaigning and educational objects of CHE and the fulfilling of social needs. Most of us seemed to agree that there need be no clash between the two, and that as well as furthering in every way we could the aims of the Campaign, we should also make our Group a socially attractive one (which it looks like being anyway), with special emphasis on helping those who have been victims of social isolation. David undertook to discover our “hidden talents“in the form of a questionaire.

On the subject of meeting-places, most people thought Newcastle would generally be the most convenient centre, but that we should aim to vary our surroundings at the homes of members who were able to offer hospitality. For the more organised monthly occasion, the possibility of our being able to use a private room at the Percy Arms would be investigated, also the Quakers’ Hall, and David mentioned that there was a chance of his being able to negotiate the use of other licensed premises where we could meet in privacy. Inevitably no one evening in the week would be equally convenient for us all and, though on Tuesday the Tuesdayites were in the majority, we would see how the evening could best be varied. Meetings with guest speakers from a distance might need to be on Fridays, and we resolved to invite as our first guest to speak National Executive member Ike Cowen, legal adviser to CHF, whose recent talk in Durham had been enjoyed enough for those who had heard him there to want to hear him speak again. We hope he will be able to come up towards the end of September.

Michael suggested the very valuable possibility of our being able to make eventual use of office facilities which GLF are hoping to acquire in Newcastle, and our thanks are due to Ken who is giving up his time and facilities for the duplication of material like this, and also to Alan who has offered the same essential service.

There was such a generous response to David’s request for offers of transport that there will be no difficulty over arranging a ferry service from Newcastle for anyone who needs it to our next meeting at David’s at North Shields on August 8th. An equally generous response to the plate which was passed around to cover immediate expenses raised £2.54 and since Derek absolutely refused to allow us to reimburse him we actually start with something in the kitty.

I think we all found it was a most encouraging beginning. Tyneside may have been the last major region to form a Group, but from Tuesday’s experience it looks as if our late starter may well surprise some of its elders.

‘On All Fours…’

The Attorney General in The House of Commons

05-197208XX 2The legal position with regard to contact ads was clarified in a Commons adjournment debate on August 2:

“Prosecutors must carry out their duty. It is their duty to enforce the law,” Sir Peter Rawlinson, the Attorney General, spelled it out. “Prosecutors do not make the law. Very many people are very alive to any failure by the prosecution to enforce the law.

“But accordingly, if people produce advertisements by males or by females advertising their wares, calling for partners, reciting the terms upon which they will associate, describing their particular tastes or giving ways of communicating one with another, these at present are offences against the criminal law.”

Gay News wonders how this relates to lonely hearts ads in magazines like Time Out, and still more to the computer dating firms – what about the ads on the tube trains?

Referring to the International Times case in 1969, Sir Peter said “…the then Attorney General had to consider advertisements by males, the kind of advertisement that contained wording such as ‘Dolly Boy Seeks Sugar Daddy’ and so on. The then Attorney General”…had discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions and a prosecution was launched because it was held, and the courts affirmed, that publication of these male advertisements was on all fours with the Shaw case, which involved advertisements for female prostitutes.”

This was the celebrated Ladies’ Directory case in 1960, when a man called Shaw published a guide, with addresses and telephone numbers, in which Soho prostitutes bought space. He was convicted and Lord Simonds, giving judgement, said: “In the sphere of criminal law there remains in the Courts of Law a residual power to enforce the supreme and fundemental purpose of the law, to conserve not only the safety and order but also the moral welfare of the state, and it is our duty to guard it against attacks which might be all the more insidious because they are novel and unprepared for.”

Lord Reid, however dissented “There are wide differences of opinion as to how far the law ought to punish immoral acts which are not done in the face of the public. Parliament is the proper, and the only proper, place to settle that. Where Parliament fears to tread, it is not for the Courts to rush in…”

The noble Lord Reid has received a lot of support for this statement (see ‘Half A Loaf’ story in Gay News No.3), but Lord Simonds asked another question which forecast the I.T. case: “Would it not be an offence if, even without obscenity, such practices were publicly advocated and encouraged by pamphlet and advertisement.”

Some people, including the police and, apparently, the DPP’s department, seem to support Lord Simonds, as recent victimisation shows.

These statements were quoted by Mr William Hamling, MP (Woolwich West) who raised the matter in the House. Mr Hamling is a brave and trusted watchdog for the freedom of the press and the arts, and a witty attacker upon those who whitehouse (verb.act.).

Mr.Hamling went on to refer to the Attorney General’s reply to a Bernard Levin article in the Times, on the question of the assurances given in Parliament when the Sexual Offences bill was being discussed. “The Attorney General’s statement refers to assurances given in 1964, that publishers would not be prevented from pleading the defence of public good when charged with publishing an obscene article. The assurances given did not apply where the essence of the offence was incitement to commit homosexual acts rather than the publication of an obscene article

“… I should like to direct his (the A.G.) attention to the debate in another place when Baroness Wootton (proposing a Lord’s amendment to the Sexual Offences Bill) moved a new clause specifically on this matter of conspiracy. The new clause read: ‘Conspiracy. It shall not be an offence to conspire or attempt to commit a homosexual act which by virtue of this Act (the 1967 Act) not in itself an offence.’

“The noble Lady went on specifically to refer to the Ladies Directory case and said:

‘We are still a little disturbed by the possible consequences of the Ladies Directory case, and the words used in that case … (she quoted Lord Simonds, as above)… (he) is there referring to conspiracy in a rather wider sense than my amendment, which refers only to the conspiracy to perform the act as distinct from advertising or flaunting it.”

Lord Stoneham, replying to Baroness Wootton, gave some assurances, but Mr Hamling, and others, have doubts as to what these actually meant, and the point is crucial to our freedom. Mr Hamling: “This prosecution (I.T.) and this whole question of what assurances were given raise some very great difficulties about an Act which permits things to take place which some people may consider to be immoral or offensive in the deepest sense, and yet the law says that these acts arc legal and are permitted. The question arises as to how far reference to these acts may be regarded as a public affront. There are grave difficulties about this – about homosexuals meeting, about arrangements that homosexuals may make in order to meet, particularly bearing in mind other sexual acts between heterosexuals which may follow meetings which can be advertised and which nobody seems to worry much about.”

Well set out out, Mr Hamling! Sir Peter, concluding his reply, set out the opposing view equally clearly; “(The I.T.case) was a proper case under the criminal law, as I explained in the Shaw case … the jury convicted, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and the House of Lords upheld the conviction by four to one. There was in that case exactly what existed in the Shaw case, a public affront, namely the publication of advertisements by the persons seeking particular sexual services – in the Shaw case involving women and in the International Times case involving men.

”… I repeat, finally, that this being the law, it is the duty of the DPP, the police authorities and the Attorney General of the day to enforce the law as it is interpreted by the judges. It is their duty to see that that is done, and they must not be dissuaded from that because it may be the opinion of certain persons that the law ought to be changed.”

Not so much changed, as disregarded perhaps. I make no apology tor setting out the debate at such length – if we are to act constructively, we must be informed fully of the attitudes of the opposition.

It still seems, as Raymond Fletcher said on an earlier occasion, that the judges are trying to make the laws, whatever Sir Peter Rawlinson says about the omniscience of Parliament. We must note too, the equation of homosexual activities with prostitution (remember the Dangerous Doctor Rubens?), and the assumptions being made that all homosexual contact ads are for prostitution, while heterosexuals are not subjected to any such blanket condemnation.

Prejudice hinders Law

Manchester Police Victimize Gay Robbery Victim

05-197208xx-3In the early hours of July 16th, 23-year-old John Ash left his two lesbian friends outside the Picador, a gay club in Manchester. He began to walk through town to catch his bus home. In Sackville Street he was approached by five youths who suddenly surrounded him and demanded his wallet. The street was deserted and they began to push and kick him. John was carrying £7, which he gave them. They then ran off.

John reported the incident to the police shortly afterwards, and was interviewed by a member of the C.I.D. The policeman asked where he had been and who with. John replied and when the police asked the names of the girls he had been with earlier, John gave them.

The policeman then asked, “Are either of those ladies your girlfriend?” When John replied that they were not, the policeman said, “Mr. Ash, are you a homosexual?”

John said that he was, but could not see why that was relevant to the robbery. The interview went on, and the policeman eventually told John that his story was not consistant. The policeman brusquely asked him why he had not cried out or ran away.

John was by this time not only shaken by the robbery but also bewildered by the aggressive and antagonistic police questioning. John explained that there was no time to cry out, and that the street was deserted anyway. As for running away – he was encircled by the heavily-booted boys.

The police would not accept this, despite the obvious evidence of John’s cuts and grazes. John left the police station convinced that they had no intention of trying to find the robbers.

He wrote to Gerald Kaufmann, his M.P., who has said that he will take the matter up directly with the Chief Constable.

The implications of this are grim. Although the police ask for public cooperation in this sort of robbery, the fact that you are homosexual obviously affects the police attitude.

Suffice to say that none of John Ash’s gay friends in Manchester would now appeal to the police for any assistance whatsoever.

Here They Come Again

05-197208xx-322 men were held for trial after a police raid on a nightclub in Tangier last Saturday (12th August). More than 80 men were originally arrested, but most of them were released, including two male dancers from the Royal Ballet. The raid occurred after complaints about men in drag, men dancing together, “nudity and obscene gestures in public”, and “debauchery of minors”. The club is called “The Blow-Up”.

Meanwhile back in dear old G.B., Newham Council have closed their “vapour baths” because someone saw two men “behaving indecently” there, called the police, and had them arrested for gross indecency. The men were subsequently fined £30 each at West Ham court. The council caused some considerable rumpus by closing the baths without any notice, until they can take steps to ‘increase supervision’.

Tangier or Newham, it’s a hard life and a short one.

Reuters. Evening Standard, and Newham Recorder …….thanks.

Crabs and The Law

05-197208xx-3Might I suggest you have a feature (if you haven’t already) on How to Get Rid Of Crabs. They seem to be on too many people these days, and a lot of guys don’t even know they’ve got them. Quickest method is a spray of Pestroy or Vamoose (dog powder) and a bath half an hour afterwards, but there may be better ways.

Oh, the cops have been acting very suspiciously in Hyde Park, just north of that bandstand where the cruising goes on. I was going through there the other night with a friend and we saw two figures up against a tree – turned out to be a couple of young cops (one of whom was gorgeous) with their helmets off, obviously out for some quick promotion. With a readymade story no doubt cooked up already so that each could corroborate the other, what could be easier than to nab some innocent gay. Panda cars were also much in evidence, so to hell with all the robbery and violence everywhere else – just a short spell in Hyde Park and you are a detective constable in no time. Please warn your readers!