‘Vietnam Has Sexual SideEffects’

19720901-04NEW YORK: America’s Time magazine has decided that homosexuality is on the way out. In its report on the latest round in the USA’s favourite parlour game, sex-surveys. Time magazine tells its readers that “anything that discourages heterosexuality encourages homosexuality, “in the view of Paul Gebhard, the ex-director of the Kinsey Institute of Sex Research.

“Because there are fewer sexual taboos in our society today, the adolescent is more likely to find a heterosexual pathway,” Dr Judd Marmor, of Los Angeles, tells Time.

Dr Marmor adds that, despite this, only a small number of adolescents are likely to be affected since generally “the origins of homosexuality derive from certain specific conditions in the home and these conditions still exist.”

Time concludes that increased sexual freedom will lead to a decrease in gayness and goes on to say: “There are no recent statistical studies that show changes in attitudes. Just as there is a greater willingness to ‘come out of the closet’ among their elders, younger men and women are more open about their homosexuality, especially in cities and at universities where there are organisations like the Gay Activist Alliance.”

The facts used in Time’s piece come from the first full-scale sex-survey to be carried out in the USA since Alfred Kinsey did his in 1953 – but then, Kinsey only talked to whites.

This latest survey is multi-racial and Time blames the breaking up in society for the growth of permissiveness. The paper editorialises: “Diminishing family influence has shaken up the rules.

“The disillusionment of many youths with Vietnam, pollution, corruption, has sexual side effects. It reinforces the idea of the older generation’s moral inferiority.

“In fact, sociologists Simon and Gagnon assert, many young people begin their sexual activity in part as a ‘personal vendetta’ against their parents.

“Nor does the older generation have a very good record of marital stability. Since there are now 357 divorces for every 1,000 marriages, it is little wonder that children do not necessarily heed their parents’ advice or consider marriage their ultimate goal. ‘There’s a healthy disrespect for the facade of respectability behind which the Albee-like emotional torrents roll on,’ says Yale Chaplain William Sloane Jnr.”

Ban On Cliff

19720901-04Believe it or not, our own very special Cliff ‘Livin’ Doll’ Richard has been reportedly banned from performing in Singapore next month. The reason given was his long hair

The 32-year-old ex-rock ‘n’ roller is understood to have had his, and his five-man backing group’s application for a visit refused for the same reason, according to Singapore’s afternoon newspaper New Nation. Cliff Richard, although still popular, is not renowned for having flowing locks and all that mistakenly implies.

One wonders if Val Doonican will be banned from Hong Kong, and God help David Bowie on his forthcoming trip to Australia.

Cliff, who is touring Israel, commented “If Singapore bans me I shall simply carry on to Tokyo and forget the whole thing.”

“I’m not going to get a haircut. Is this long?” remarking, that is, on his fashionably styled hair, which is considered short by our own standards.

Keep it growing Cliff, for as long as you are able. One wonders if this thought has ever crossed Cliff’s mind, “Did Jesus ever have this trouble?”

Gayness Doesn’t Exist

19720901-04RUSSIA: Elya Glazer, a 35-year-old biologist, who was senior scientific worker at Moscow University, was recently sentenced to three year’s ‘strict regime’ (the extreme form of punishment in the USSR) for alleged slander, anti-Soviet propaganda, “and other unspecified criminal activities”.

Pravda, reporting the sentence, said Mr Glazer, a Jew “whispered with all sorts of scum and moral cripples to nourish foreign reactionary sources” and accused him of “licentious and sexual abnormality”. It doesn’t take too much thought to work out what they mean by that.

In Russia there is no legislation either condemning or condoning homosexuality. According to Soviet law, homosexuality doesn’t exist. But apparently “licentiousness and sexual abnormality” does.

Elya Glazer has, unfortunately, not only been persecuted because he is a Jew, but also because, apparently, he has chosen his own form of sexuality.

Informed Jewish sources in this country have for some time now been reporting that large scale anti-semitism is taking place in the USSR. Also, Jews wishing to leave for Israel are usually preve-nted from doing so.

No Evidence

19720901-04BRIGHTON: John Campbell, a 34-year-old London chef, was kept in police custody for three weeks for cottaging before the prosecution decided to give up and let him go home.

Mr Campbell, of Southgate, London N14, was put into the police cells on July 17 while the police got ready charges against him alleging that he “importuned for immoral purposes” in a men’s lavatory.

In the end the prosecuting solicitor David Nissen said the police had no evidence to offer.

He said: “I would submit that the police acted quite properly. There has been no application for bail in the last three weeks.”

John’s solicitor, Mr Cyril Chapman, said he’d asked for bail for John, but this had been refused because the police said papers on the case were being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Chapman said he couldn’t see how the charge against John had been brought in the first place.

Mr Nissen said that John made a habit of going to Brighton to “meet other men”.

The magistrates awarded John £20 costs against the police. The chairman, Mr Harry Brogden, said the court had sympathy for John and the £20 would cover his costs.

The man he’d met in Brighton, Paul Mitchell, 20, of no fixed address was put on probation for two years for stealing clothes and a railway ticket from John.

Thump in the Dark

19720901-04HAMPSTEAD: An anonymous Gay News reader was given a black eye by plain clothes police while walking on the Heath.

The reader told Gay News: “I was walking on the Heath and I met these three large men in dark suits and blue shirts. I should have known they were police. One of them punched me in the face and 1 have a black eye.

“When I got to the roadway I saw there were two unmarked police cars parked. And from the noises behind me I could tell the plain clothes men were having a good time beating up gays.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said:

“There was an injury-only accident at Hampstead Heath, which required the usual police procedure.”

He denied that there were any plain clothes police in the area.

Wish You Were Here

19720901-04LEWES: Gays in Sussex are to get a “new deal” from the police.

The Chief Constable of Sussex has promised Gay News that he will look into any allegation of police harassment personally.

Mr T.P. Williams, at his Lewes police headquarters, said that any gay who feels he’s unduly harassed by Sussex police should report the matter directly to him, and not to his local police station.

A spokesman for Sussex police said that this system was not really new, it should exist in all areas. Check with your chief constable.

Funny, or How Very Queer

19720901-04Julie Frost, Gay News’s super salesman at The Boltons in Earl’s Court, had a rather strange story to tell after an evening of selling the paper recently.

On leaving his local tube station, Caledonian Road, a car drew up alongside of him and out popped three plain-clothes policemen. Julie was questioned about what he had been doing; his bag of unsold Gay News’s was searched, and a copy of the paper was scrutinised. After more questions and his, and the paper’s, name and address being taken he was allowed to finish his journey home.

A not too unusual occurrence, but wait. When Julie arrived home he noticed a dark blue unmarked police car, with its lights off, parked outside his home. Inside were two uniformed police officers. They were still there when Julie went to bed, and it was observed that they were still there much later that night.

We wonder what all that’s about?

Incidentally, Julie was the cover-model for Issue No. 5 of Gay News. This week Gay News, next week Vogue or Playboy?

Contented Deviants

Professor Carstairs Calls Homosexuals ‘Deviants’ In Medical Handbook

19720901-04A non-gay woman member of SMG brought disturbing news to the Chairman, Ian C Dunn, recently. Researching for her final year studies in Dietetics at the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science, she discovered some particularly unpleasant writing on homosexuality in the prestigious medical handbook “The Principles and Practice of Medicine” (10th edition, eds. Sir Stanley Davidson and John Macleod, published by E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1971).

The offending passage occurs in the section “Personality Disorders” (pp 1076-1078). Homosexual activity is described as “.. . abnormal practices which do interfere with other people”. A little later the writer suggests that “the Sexual Offences Act 1967 for the first time in Great Britain” (my italics) gave freedom to homosexuals. This is a blatant error of fact. Prior to 1885 homosexuals did have the freedom to make love in private, Moreover, prior to 1871, the age of consent was lower than the artificially high 21 years it is today. The writer also fails to point out that both Scotland and Northern Ireland remain outside the law reform of 1967.

“Most forms of deviant behaviour, such as homosexuality, seem to be the result of distorted experiences at the stage of development when boys and girls learn their sexual role.” What sort of advice is this to present to medics-in-training? The writer would do well to undertake a study of heterosexual behaviour before making such sweeping generalisations about homosexuals. Is there a “cure”? The best advice the writer can come up with is a suggestion that these poor people could “dampen down their drives” (by drug ingestion? – we are not informed). “Deviants seem rather content with their lot” is the final remark, and one almost feels like saying, “gosh, sir, thanksalotsir!” It is a thoroughly bad piece of psychiatric writing.

But who wrote (or approved) the article? This is where the shock comes in: for it was Professor M Carstairs himself who acknowledged responsibility when Ian Dunn rang him up to discuss the matter. Did he (Prof. Carstairs) consider the article compatible with his publicly expressed views on homosexuality made as Honorary Vice-President of SMG?

The Professor said that he would have to re-read the article. Would he consider re-writing the section for the 11th Edition (due 1973)? The Professor agreed to consider this, and asked for some notes to aid him in his task.

Here, then, is an opportunity for the gay community to ensure that the real life facts on being homosexual get inserted into the best reference books. I would like to make a direct appeal to those readers who may have the time to undertake this work to get in touch with Ian Dunn, 15 Hope Park Terrace, Edinburgh, EH8 9LZ. Please send in suggestions backed up with chapter and verse references, if possible. Maximum 750 words.

Where Scots Lag…

Scotland “lags behind” England as far as homosexual legislation is concerned, a Glasgow psychiatrist told a one-day conference on homosexuality in Edinburgh yesterday.

Dr Keith Wardrop, Director of the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Glasgow, told the conference, organised by the SMG, that the attitudes among certain sections of the public towards homosexuals led to such things as drug-taking – particularly among young people.

Scottish Sunday Express, Glasgow.

SMG held a one-day conference on Homosexuality in Edinburgh, ft received the above report in the Scottish press. We received the following report from Joan Aitken.

SMG CONFERENCE

19720901-04One of the enormous tasks facing the gay movement is that of educating the rest of the world to the effect that gay is not bad or sick or corrupting. That is, to reverse the whole situation of gay people. For this reason SMG decided at their last AGM to hold annual (at least) conferences on homosexuality and to encourage the public to come along.

The first of these was held in Heriot Watt University on Saturday August 5th – the title of which was “Homosexuality – is it a problem?” In going along to any conference one tends to have doubts about the whole structure and almost to have headaches in anticipation. But I got a pleasant surprise – I can only say this was the best conference I have ever attended.

In the morning the question was discussed by four speakers – Anthony Grey, Michael Steed (Tres. CHE), Dr Keith Wardrop (Dir Forensic Psychiatric Clinic – Glasgow) and Sharon Murray (NE Womens Group). In the afternoon we broke into discussion groups. The conference ended with a forum.

I found the discussion on the female homosexual (did I notice a certain reluctance to use the word lesbian?) interesting in that it reflected how much homosexuals or any oppressed minority does tend to load itself with problems. There is an element of paranoia and thus some of the problems for the homosexual are self-created. I felt that Sharon Murray did present an example of this when she failed to realise that many of the problems of the lesbian are problems for the heterosexual as well. She was right, though, to get angry when Mr Wardrop suggested that life was easier for the female. There was some discussion between the speakers and the floor as to who had the roughest time – the male or the female. My own view is that it is an irrelevant question and to pose it is to indulge in the self-pity and egotism that Anthony Grey had attacked earlier in his talk.

The consent of the oppressed as a mechanism in the process of oppression was discussed by Michael Steed in an interesting talk where he scientifically looked at attitudes to homosexuality. He quoted the results of National Opinion Polls on whether homosexuals should be able to make love freely in private and on whether homosexuals needed treatment. The latter reported that 93% thought that such was the case.

This point about attitudes came up again in the discussion on why the Homosexual Law Reform Act did not apply in Scotland. David Steel, MP proved a most willing and interesting speaker and explained attitudes to homosexuality were at the time of the act less ‘enlightened’ than the English. However since 1967 the Church of Scotland, still very influential in deciding Scottish public opinion, has eased its attitudes and there has recently been much correspondence in the ‘Scotsman’ on the subject of homosexuality. The reliance on common law in Scotland to safeguard the position of the homosexual can no longer be trusted, especially after the recent House of Lords decision in the IT case, and recent local prosecutions.

But a lot of myths have to be waded through yet and how many differences there are on large issues and how much pain has to be disentangled to reach rational attitudes. The conference was good in that everyone relaxed together and the discussion was calm and sympathetic. It felt as if a breath of fresh air