Sam Faces Spite On Coucil

DURHAM: The city’s councillors are being asked to buy Gay News for the Durham public libraries. But the application may be turned down by councillors who dislike the city’s Gay Lib councillor Sam Green.

Sam told Gay News that the Durham Librarian would have to refer any application for spending the municipal cash on Gay News to the Libraries Committee.

He said: “It might even be agreed to, as it is not the full council, on which I am, and where there is a lot of personal animosity towards me – but some of them might try and make political capital out of it.”

Sam became Durham’s first Liberal councillor last year after ousting the sitting councillor in Crossgate ward – after 18 years on the council. In his campaign he made a point of telling his electors he was gay (GN8).

He will be standing for the district and county elections this spring.

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.

Councillor Gay

19721001-04DURHAM: The city now has a Gay Lib councillor. For Sam Green has won the Crossgate seat on the council for the Liberal Party. And throughout his election campaign he has made a point of telling people he belonged to GLF. And you can’t get more honest than that.

Sam’s gay honesty impressed the people of Durham so much he ousted the sitting councillor who had been there for 18 years.

Sam, who is a 31-year-old psychiatric nurse, has tried to get on the council twice before.

He told Gay News: “I have made a point of telling my friends at work and in the Liberal Party that I am gay, and have found no real opposition from them.

“So when I was contesting the local election in Durham I pointed out I was a member of the Gay Libs in the same way that other candidates point out that they are members of the Rotary Club or sit as school governors. The press followed with banner headlines ‘candidate is member of Gay organisation’ and my opponent travelled the ward telling everyone I was ‘one of those’, a puff, a nancy boy, and spent most of his time sounding off about the corruption of youth etc.

“The silent majority – the lot that is supposed to want homosexual oppression were not silent. The dear old ladies would come to their doors and say ‘I’ve been a Conservative all my life but I am voting for you. GET HIM OUT!!’

“I think people are not really interested in our private sex lives, but I do think my election result shows that if we present our case fairly and do not project our own failings and weaknesses onto others, we will win through. But we must keep faith in ourselves, queens, faggots, cottagers, CHE, Gay Libbers.

“The main tactic of all oppressors of demo-cratic traditions is to cloud the issues. We must not by our tactics give them a chance, but fight for democracy with a truly libertarian society with tolerance for all.”

It is more than a personal victory for Sam or just a victory for gays, he is also the Liberal’s first councillor in Durham in living memory.