The Gay Militant

19721001-01The Church Militant flew into London last week after a whistle-stop tour of Europe in the ample form of the Rev Troy Perry, the now-famous founder of the now-famous church for gays.

The Metropolitan Community Church, which Perry founded, is fast becoming known as a ‘gay church’ because Troy Perry and the pastors at the church’s 36 branches across the USA, from Hawaii to New York, will perform marriage ceremonies for gays.

19721001-04In an exclusive interview arranged with Gay News, Troy Perry said that even if he was gay and his church attracts gays back to church, the MCC is not a specifically gay church. He added: “We say gay is just as good as heterosexuality in the eyes of God. Neither is better, they are just equal.

“At the Los Angeles church about 60 per cent of the congregation is male homosexual, 20 per cent female homosexual, and the other 20 per cent heterosexual.

“But at our church in Long Beach, the proportion is about 50 per cent men to 50 per cent women.

“In Los Angeles the main Methodist church has seating for 33,000. They’re lucky to get just 300 in. Meanwhile we have standing room only at our main services on Sundays. So we must be giving people what they want.”

Troy Perry isn’t all talk though. He’s been married twice. First time around it was at the age of 19 to the attractive blonde daughter of a Pentecostal minister.

He says: “I come from the south of the USA, and there the attitude was ‘get yourself a good girl, and that will sort you out’ if you thought you were gay. It doesn’t work.”

The marriage split up when he told her he was gay and she got a court order to stop him seeing their children both of them boys.

His second marriage was in January this year to a Roller Derby star, Steve Jordan.

Troy happily describes him: “He’s just 5 ft 8 in tall, 23, Mexican-American and beautiful. We are very happy.”

The gay marriages the MCC performs have attracted most attention to the sect. But the church has strict rules about the gays it will marry. Troy Perry says: “To get married they have to have been together for at least six months – usually they have been living together for three years. Sometimes a couple who have been living together for up to 25 years want to get married.”

Are gay marriages happy? Troy Perry says: “Out of the 200 ceremonies that I have personally performed, only about four or five couples have separated.”

Are they legal? “In California the law does not say that one person who is to be married must be a man and the other a woman. So far no-one has tried to get a divorce, so we don’t know how the courts would treat the marriages. ”

Troy Perry does not see his church’s work ending at the church door. In fact, he’s arranged several gay demos in the Bay Area.

He remembers the battle of Barney’s Beanery. He says: ‘There used to be a sign in the window – ‘Faggots Stay Out’.”

“We found society never expected gays to become militant, so we got 300 gays down to Barney’s Beanery. Half of them had to take over a stool at the bar, order one drink and then sit over it all night. The other half had to go into the restaurant section and take over tables. They ordered a coffee and just sat over it all night.”

The management moved next and upped the price of a coffee to two dollars. So Troy Perry ordered a coffee, drank it. “Then I went to the check-out and refused to pay. The owner called the police. When they arrived they took one look at my collar and took the owner in the back room. They suggested it wasn’t such a good idea to bring a court case against a priest. The police said he was losing business and losing money, so why didn’t he take that sign down?

The sign came down pretty soon. It’s hanging in our kitchen now.”

He says he knew he was gay from the age of five. “I used to go to kiddies’ matinees at the movies in Talahassee, Florida and Tarzan used to turn me on. That’s when I knew I was different from the rest of the boys.

When I told my mother I was gay she was absolutely hysterical.” But now his 56-year-old widowed mother lives with Steve and Troy. He says: “There are no hang-ups in our family.”

Historically: Troy Perry became licensed to preach at the Pentecostal Church at the age of 15. When he decided that he was gay, he told his immediate superior, who told him not to be so silly. When the bishop got to hear about the gay priest, he paid him a call and asked him to resign.

So the 33-year-old son of a bootlegger founded a church that would dispense God’s love to all. That’s why he called his book The Lord is My Shepherd And He Knows I’m Gay.

Happy Memories

19721001-04A young American visitor to London was arrested outside the Coleherne pub in Earls Court, for obstructing the footpath, and — even though he chose to be imprisoned rather than pay a fine — the police removed £7 from his wallet before setting him free.

Jim, the American, was a newcomer to London and after leaving the Coleherne he waited for his friend to come out when the police arrested him for obstructing the footpath.

He was held overnight before appearing at Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court.

There the magistrate decided to give Jim the choice of paying a £7 fine or going to jail for 14 days. He was taken to a cell, because he chose jail.

Then a policeman came and gave him back his possessions and told him he was free. They had removed the £7 fine.

When Jim was in court he was refused permission to call witnesses. When he was picked up by the police he was called “an American fairy.”

Jim has now left the country.

Pier Unsafe for Gays

19721001-04MANCHESTER: Last August Weymouth Council told the Campaign for Homosexual Equality it was reversing its Entertainments Committee’s decision to allow them to hold their first conference at the Pavilion, Weymouth. This decision was aided by a great deal of support from the national and local press.

CHE then made what they thought to be definite alternative arrangements to hold the conference, due to take place in April, at More-cambe. They had planned to hold it in the theatre at the end of the pier – and all seemed to be going smoothly. Now, apparently, Morecambe Council are backing out.

A CHE spokesman said: “In order to discourage us the Council has put out a trail of red herrings such as saying the pier is too unsafe for us to hold our conference there. Curiously though they haven’t cancelled the fire brigade conference due to take place in the same building shortly after ours.”

Is it possible the Council are just being kind and imagine that should the building collapse, a group of firemen could rescue themselves from the rubble whereas we poor things couldn’t?

Gay News has not yet spoken to Morecambe Council.

Drug Cure Fails

19721001-04ALDERSHOT: The town’s magistrates have sent a London man for sentence at Crown Court for an alleged indecent assault, which they agree did not happen.

George, of London NW10, admitted “assaulting” a boy behind the Aldershot police station. He has spent 27 years of his life in jail for indecency offences.

During his jail terms George had been subjected to drug treatments to curb his sexual impulses, his solicitor told the magistrates.

George had been on parole since March and had been released from his latest ten-year jail sentence in July.

Mr John Cottrell, George’s solicitor, said that George, a driver for Kensington and Chelsea Council, admitted the offence, but it was “nothing more than an erotic fantasy”.

Since leaving prison, George had stopped taking the anti-sex drug.

Mr Cottrell said: “Compared with the previous offences, this matter before you is of a very minor nature. It’s not a serious offence taken by itself.

“Although the record is very heavy, George was cured by that drug after his last term of prison, and is anxious to resume treatment.”

Mr John Ellis, for the police, said that George drove up to three boys who were playing in a sandpit. He started talking to them and showed them his moped. He gave them rides on his moped.

Later the conversation turned to sex and George “assaulted” one of the boys. Then it began to rain. The boys ran for shelter and George drove off. The boys took George’s number and reported him to the police.

He said that George had five previous convictions, once for assaulting a girl and the others were matters concerning young boys.

After they had retired the magistrates said: “We agree nothing happened, but the intention was there.”

George, whose application for bail was refused, was sent to Winchester Crown Court for sentence.

The Gay Vote

19721001-04‘The Gay vote’ is not a factor which politicians include in their calculations in this country. But, nonetheless, if gays constitute (at a conservative estimate) one in twenty of the population, then we could wield considerable influence to better our position, especially in local elections.

This lesson does not seem to have got across to gay politicos in this country – they seem to prefer negative actions to combat prejudice rather than positive ones such as this.

In Canada, the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) has been active at all the meetings, rallies and so on in the provincial elections in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a considerable degree of success.

On the 9th August, seven candidates appeared to answer questions in front of an audience of 100 people, including members of GATE. Maurice Flood, GATE’s chairman, asked them: “In view of the fact that leaflets listing gay demands have been given to all the candidates, where do the candidates stand on granting full civil liberties to homosexuals?” The Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic Party candidates all said that they supported equality, whilst the Social credit candidates said: “I support the family; whether you fit into that picture or not is up to you.”

Roedy Green, of GATE, challenged the Social Credit candidate’s claim that his party stood for the protection of minority rights by pointing out that they had not extended the Human Rights legislation to apply to gays.

However the Socred candidate was much more outspoken a fortnight later when faced with further questioning on the subject of gay rights. He said that people who belong to such movements are in a dangerous situation because “one day society will want to castrate the lot of you to stop you reproducing your kind.” He was greeted by prolonged jeering and booing from the audience.

He had been asked if he would end “the involuntary hospitalisation of gays (supposedly) for their own good.” The other candidates had said that they would.

All this has made candidates of all parties aware of the injustices in society towards homosexuals, and has had the whole issue extensively reported in the Vancouver papers. There’s a lesson in that somewhere.

Big Boys Only

19721001-04LEEDS: The city is getting its first ‘adults only’ play in the shape of Mart Crowley’s ‘Boys in the Band’.

The play, which starts as a comedy and becomes tragic as it moves on through the lives of a group of homosexuals is being performed in Leeds by the city’s Cosmopolitan Players, who usually put on trivial farces and such diversions.

The Boys In The Band is the first time that an ‘adults-only’ restriction has been put on any play at the Civic Theatre, where the play is being staged this week, according to Mr Fred Mower, who’s been designing sets for the Civic for the last 20 years.

Mr Nigel Peacock, a member of the Cosmopolitan Players said he wasn’t worried that the restriction might reduce the group’s box-office take.

In fact, Mr Peacock, who has a part in the play, feels that the ‘adults-only’ restriction may attract audiences.

He said: “Certainly with films, an ‘adults-only’ billing seems to attract audiences, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work with plays.

The Leeds production will not be pulling any punches. “It will all be there, as written,” Mr Peacock promised.

All Quiet on the Fulham Front

19721001-04FULHAM: More than 350 gays, of all sexes, turned up for the latest in the Gay Liberation Front’s series of dances at Fulham Town Hall — and all was peace and love, instead of the queer-bashing of a few weeks ago.

There were no reports of disturbances either during or after the dance, although the town hall had been the scene of ugly violence some weeks back.

Maurice of Gay Lib’s London office said:

“It was just beautiful – just how we wanted it. There was no hustle at all. Everybody enjoyed themselves and the dance was open to everybody who wanted to come”.

Even if “straights” were allowed in, the majority of the crowd at the peaceful dance were gay. In the words of the Shepherds Bush Gazette – whose prose style will never be equalled – “Wearing all kinds of conventionally outrageous costumes, including long evening dresses and black fishnet body stockings, gay young men danced with one another to the accompaniment of records to suit all tastes.

“Many of the youngsters had travelled in their gay garb on the Underground, but the police said there had been no trouble.

“It seems these gatherings are having their desired effect of dispelling many of the inhibitions that gay people have.”

Right on SBG, welcome to the world.

The next GLF dance is on October 6 at Fulham Town Hall.

Advice and Consent

19721001-04GATESHEAD: The town has lost its sex-adviser because he has been sent to prison for admitting having sex with six boys aged between 12 and 14.

Robin Robert Roe, who is a state-registered nurse, had been Gateshead’s health education organiser – or sex adviser, for short.

He was sent to prison for two years for the six charges of indecent assault on boys by Newcastle Crown Court, and Judge Myrella Cohen said: “A certain degree of moral guilt should lie on Gateshead Corporation for employing someone like you in a position of trust with these boys.

“It is a shattering reflection that someone like you, who in 1958 had a conviction for a very serious offence, should have found this particular type of employment.”

Councillor William Collins, chairman of Gateshead’s health committee was the man who headed the selection committee that chose Robin Roe as the town’s sex adviser. He said that Robin had been sacked after the court hearing. Councillor Collins was praised in court for the energy he showed in carrying out his duties.

All six sex offences were committed outside working hours.

Councillor Collins said:“I am horrified that this could have happened, but how could we have known? I don’t have a crystal ball.”

Open Minds

19721001-04Gay News is researching the subject of psychiatry and psychosurgery used on gays.

So, if you’ve been subjected to treatment by hormones, operations or aversion therapy, especially using erection measurement machines, please contact Peter Holmes at Gay News, 19 London Street, London W2 or phone (01) 402-7805.

Whatever you say will be treated in the utmost confidence. Your secrets will be safe. So please contact us and help stamp out anti-gay psychiatry.

Kinky Call-Boy

19721001-04Twenty-four year old Roy Davis was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined £45, on charges of possessing drugs, importuning and keeping a brothel.

He and another man were living in a flat in Nevern Square, Earls Court, which the police observed for a period of time. Clients were obtained through ‘male model’ advertisements, and test phone calls to the number given elicited an offer of ‘very kinky services’. The police, however, were content with observation.

Davis was alleged to have been operating as a call-boy himself. He admitted importuning, and being in breach of a two-year probation period imposed last December for unauthorised possession of 64 dexedrine tablets.

The magistrate advised him to get a job of work and become a normal and decent citizen.

Source: Kensington News and Post.