No Freedom to Love

“There is a sense in which all law is nothing more nor less than a gigantic confidence trick. Law is not enforceable at all if a sufficient number of people disregard it, and this is true of all laws.” Quinton Hogg

01-197205XX 8Laws which interfere with the individual’s sexuality and sexual expression will only continue to exist so long as we allow it- the will not be changed FOR us. Gay News intends to campaign for changes, since these matters are not, nor should they be, a realm in which legal controls belong. We welcome the stand taken by the Quakers in calling for the age of consent to be lowered to 14, but take the view that the law has no place in anyone’s sex life, and therefore the best sex laws are no sex laws at all: that would make us all equal, and leave no room for the suppression of any minority.

If you are a gay man, you cannot legally have sex before your 21st birthday, but if you’re a gay woman, or a heterosexual you can do so as soon as you are 16. The law is intended to prevent adolescent boys from being seduced by older men. They are apparently trusted not to succumb to a woman of any age against their own will, or if they do, it’s only a private misdemenour, not a criminal offence. It presumes that he couldn’t say no. But they can be prosecuted for seducing one another. Confused yet?

…Obscenity laws exist to repress normal sexual desires which are somehow, in law, equated with depravity. N.C.C.L. Guide to Civil Liberty

The law reflects the traditional male attitude to gay men – on the surface, we are despised, within, we are feared. Because within themselves they see us – their own heavily controlled love and desire for their own sex – and they fear.

The 1967 Act does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland – the law remains as it was in both these areas.

Sexual Offences Act 1956: section 32: “It is an offence for a man persistently to solicit or importune in a public place for immoral purposes.”

When the act was passed, this section

And remember… “Law is not enforceable at all if a sufficient number of people disregard it, and this is true of all laws.”

MEANT a man pimping for a woman. The law is almost never used in that sense, but to stop you picking up a guy you fancy whenever and wherever you may see him. It is never used to stop a man picking up a woman, even if he is offering her money for her services. She is in the wrong then.

Maximum penalties for some acts committed by older men with minors were increased by the 1967 Act.

Policemen can close down our pubs and clubs, and raid our parties more or less at will, if we are not behaving like heterosexuals. Because they have a duty to “preserve the peace”. Or if the backhander from the owner isn’t enough.

Publication of advertisements for the encouraging of homosexual practises is at present an offence, depending on the outcome of the It appeal currently being heard by the House of Lords.

It doesn’t matter if you are all over 21 and consenting, if there are more than two of you, it’s illegal.

In short, you can’t pick up anyone except in a pub or club or party, but the police can still raid these at will. You can’t take a man under 21 to bed, and if you’re under 21, you just can’t, that’s all. You can’t place lonely-heart ads.

BUT… Gay News WILL carry small ads for as long as you wish to use them. It must surely be an individuals human right to choose the way he or she wishes to make contact.

BUT… Gay News feels that far too little is being done to campaign for the age of consent to be lowered to the logical level, 16, giving us parity with everybody else. It should only be a matter of time before the whole question of legally enforceable age of consent for anyone comes under review.

Since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 very little positive action has been taken to remove this obsolete law from the statute books. We hear that S.M.G. is still squabbling about what particular age limit to campaign for; it’s a nice discussion point in C.H.E. and as Warren Haig says in OZ 42, “If Gay Lib had a concern for all homosexuals it would actively campaign for this… but it doesn’t.”

If you are being persecuted in any way for being yourself, we are here to try to do something about it. Tell us and let’s try together.

Gay News WILL campaign for this reduction. But, more important still, we’d like to make our columns available to anyone involved in campaigning against this particular black mark on the statute book.

The Twilight World of the Heterosexual

01-197205XX 8In this enlightened frank age we must all face the fact that like it or not, heterosexuals make up a sizeable portion of the population. Since by their very nature heterosexuals are furtive and deceptive, no-one can say for sure exactly how many there are but psychiatric estimates run from five to twenty pet cent in England and America, slightly higher in Europe. We have no figures at all for the Orient, since inscrutability added to furtiveness makes it impossible to judge.

While many people naively think that heterosexuals are easily recognised, the reverse is very often the case, for in reality very few are the close-cropped snarling man or the simpering passive woman we see in the movies. Many lead outwardly normal lives and the gentle boy next door, and the tough competent girl down the street may have more than a passing interest in each other.

What then is heterosexuality? Simply put, it is the inability to love your own sex and the subsequent turning for sexual release to the opposite sex. Many hardened heterosexuals will attempt to turn it round and insist that heterosexuality is the ability to love the opposite sex. But if this were true, it would have to be an ability that grew out of a complete homosexual fulfillment – for it stands to reason that you can’t love something different to yourself unless you can first love people the same as you. And most heterosexuals are incapable of a true homosexual relationship.


The claim that heterosexuality involves love falls apart when we examine the nature of heterosexual activities. There are two forms of heterosexual union, the “affair” and the “marriage”. In both the sexual activities themselves are mechanical non-feeling, unrelated to the individual couple, and prescribed in advance according to the strange rituals of the heterosexual twilight world. The man has certain things he is supposed to do in a certain order, and the woman likewise. It is difficult for the healthy homosexual to grasp how alienating heterosexual “love” really is, but perhaps we can glimpse it when we examine that curious artifact, the sex manual. These are books, and the heterosexual world abounds with literally hundreds of them, that actually describe, step by step, the actions that heterosexuals are supposed to perform when they “make love”.

It is hard to say whether the “affair” or the “marriage” is more artificial and restrictive. In the first, the man and woman will meet, perhaps in the notorious “cocktail bars” with their cold hushed atmosphere, so different from the lively gay bars most of us know. Then they will “chat”, a process which consists of talking inanely about any subject so long as they do not reveal any part of their personalities. In fact, the entire “affair” coasts of projecting a false image.


obtaining the prescribed release, and then breaking off relations. When the proper time has elapsed the man and woman will go off to a special hotel maintained especially for heterosexual liaisons. There they will each do what their manual tells them and then say goodbye, priding themselves on that they have never betrayed any real emotion. Perhaps they will meet again and repeat the process, perhaps not.

The “marriage” is a much more bizarre form of practice and one which is far too complicated to describe here. Briefly considered, it is an agreement between two heterosexuals to live together for the rest of their lives and never relate sexually to anyone but each other. Though we might think such a strange arrangement might at least produce some degree of honesty, the opposite is often the case as the heterosexual compulsion to project totally false images becomes more and more obsessive over the years.


What buses a woman or a man to stray so far from normal development? To date, medical authorities have not developed any comprehensive theory. While some doctors claim a hormonal imbalance, many psychiatrists consider it an over-identification with the mother or father or both. One interesting theory claims that insecurity makes the woman want her vagina engorged or the man want his penis sheathed. Perhaps some engaged in their first heterosexual acts as a form of rebellion and then, guilt-ridden, felt they were trapped in the heterosexual world forever.

One thing is certain. The problem will not go away by our pretending it does not exist. Nor will making heterosexuality a crime deter those men and women from seeking each other out and arranging their secret liaisons. We who are more fortunate must learn compassion for those who cannot help themselves ,who do not choose to be this way (though many will exhibit a reverse stubborn pride). If we do not close our eyes, if in fact we devote more extensive research into the whole range of human sexuality then perhaps we can eventually release the diverse sexual elements in all of us and restore these unfortunate people to society.

INK Page 14 February 25th, 1972
By kind permission of INK newspaper