Editorial

We live in a democracy. It means we’re free to do and say what we like – and that’s official. But the way society is run might tempt cynics to say that British democracy means we have the right to do and say what the state and certain self-appointed arbiters of behaviour ordain.

The 1967 Sexual Offences Act – which made gay love “legal” – specifically excludes members of the armed forces from equality with other gays, already a minority unequal with “straight” society.

At least the law spells out the ground rules even if they are, undoubtedly, wrong. For instance laws that limit gay sex to those not in the armed forces, over 21 and in two’s, in private are clearly indefensible because they make us unequal with the rest of society.

The main failing of the law, as it stands at present, is that it does not give gays the legal equality, however grudging, that black people must receive.

But far more oppressive than open harassment and legal inequality for blacks and gays alike is the sinister form of silent censorship that Gay News and all the gay organisations experience.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality came up against the Angry Silence twice earlier this year when it was trying to fix the place for its first annual conference. Both Weymouth and Morecambe fought shy of having fairies al the end of the pier.

Recently CHE won a victory by managing to lay a wreath to the Unknown Gay Soldier at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday. When almost any old ex-Servicemen’s Club and association representing those who allow themselves to be ruled by traitors — that is, Rhodesia – are allowed to lay wreaths, the inequality of not allowing the Gay Liberation Front to lay just such a wreath last year shrieks of a society where the homosexual is not equal even with traitors in the view of the elite law-forming body, Parliament.

Gay News has troubles with the Angry Silence in many directions and they have taken a new turn of late.

We’re used to news wholesalers and retailers such as Smiths, Menzies and Selfridges, joining in the elitist freezing out of gays. And you’re used to reading about our distribution problems by now.

The latest bizarre turn in this “free-speech” state is the Evening Standard’s refusal of an advertisement for a sex-education movie quoting Gay News.

The man at the Standard told Cobra Films’ representative that the paper wouldn’t mind running the ad if only they would quote a “respectable film critic, tor instance Alexander Walker”.

Once again the Standard has shown that whilst it will use the word ‘gay’ in headlines to sell the paper, it will not countenance the fact that gays live, are organised and have their own newspaper.

The ad-man at the Standard said that the GN crit of Cobra-1 was “near-pornography”

He is entitled to his views, but the Standard should print views it does not agree with, as the press should leave its columns open to all sectors of society as Charles Wintour, the Standard’s editor says in his recent book on the press.

Indeed, many of us feel that the views put forward as the paper’s official policy – in its leaders — and other right-wing pontifications carried in its pages are pornographic.

Mr Wintour is responsible for all the opinions expressed in the Evening Standard, including the writings of the “respectable” Alexander Walker, who was brought to the Standard by Godfrey Winn who discovered him in Brighton.

Many of the views put forward by the Standard work towards an elitist society and towards eroding free speech so that a schoolteacher may not be gay – and honest – and keep his job (GN11).

They are promoting a society where a lie is preferable to the truth. And that really is pornographic. In strictly legal terms it’s liable to deprave and corrupt the ‘Bristows’ of this world. If that’s democracy at work, no wonder so many of the more radical gays see the fight for gay equality as part of a much bigger and economic change in society.

But we at GN are used to being excluded from the press. Time Out – to whom we are grateful for many things — would not publish our ad which mentioned the personal ads in the back of GN on the advice of their legal eagle.

The silent censorship of the Cobra Films ad by the Evening Standard shows that society is not willing to accept a gay newspaper as a genuine newspaper – and it follows that if Gay News isn’t accepted as a paper by our fellow journalists, no gay can expect to be treated as anything but a curio by Charles Wintour and others like him who affect the way the power-holding elite think – no individual gay or gay organisation.

In Memory Of The Unknown Gay Dead

WHITEHALL: Sunday 11am, 12th November, 1972: A large crowd falls silent by the command of a cannon from Horse Guards Parade and the tolling of Big Ben. The hypocrisy of the church mourning the dead of wars and still allowing them to continue…

Where are the big guns, daddy?

The Last Post. The ritual begins. For Queen and country, she’s there with the old man and the kids. The politicians with plastic flowers,

the army with rifles and a brass band, the Air Force (royal) with a brass band, the navy with swords and a brass band, and the police with their personal radios, and, you guessed it, a brass band.

Daddy lift me up.

Music and marching and they’re all gone. They did a good job this year, at least three times as many people as last, or maybe they were just tourists.

Will people wishing to file past the Cenotaph please join the queue now forming at the entrance to Downing Street.

A long queue, it took nearly an hour to pass, in the middle a few members of CHE, not carrying the usual red, but pink, in the form of a triangle. The pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals in the concentration camps of the Third Reich. The lowest of the low, the most dispensable. Very few survived. The wreath laid, the group moved off. An attendant, tidying them, went to move the triangle, and as if he had burnt his hands, visibly jumped, then read the attached card more closely. ‘In memory of our brothers and sisters who died in two world wars, especially the victims of the Third Reich. From The Campaign for Homosexual Equality.’

The pink triangle is still there (Wednesday) but the card’s gone.

Martin Corbett

ED: In the Theory and Practice of Hell by Eugen Kogan the reality of being gay in a Nazi concentration camp is shown to be truly a nightmare: “Homosexual practices were actually very widespread in the camps. The prisoners, however, ostracised only those whom the SS marked with the pink triangle. The fate of the homosexuals in the concentration camps can only be described as ghastly. They were often segregated in special barracks and work details. Such segregation offered ample opportunity to unscrupulous elements in positions of power to engage in extortion and maltreatment.

This consigned them to the lowest caste in camp during the most difficult years. In shipments to extermination camps, such as Nordhausen, Natzweiler and Gross Rosen, they furnished the highest proportionate share.”

There were five types of triangles branded onto people in the camps. They designated those who were: political, exponents of the Bible, antisocial, professional criminals and homosexuals.

Love to Lesbian’s Come Together for the above.