Gay Political Storms

Private Life No Concern Of Council

Sam Green, the 32-year-old Liberal Councillor in Durham, who fought and won his election in spite of making the point that he was an active member of GLF, is under attack from the ruling Independent Party, and in fact has announced his decision not to fight the forthcoming county elections.

The cause of the uproar, a Granada TV ‘World In Action’ documentary featuring Sam in his triple role as psychiatric nurse, councillor and Gay Lib Activist, was to have included a face-to-face interview between Sam and his fellow councillors in the Durham City council chambers. Granada’s team have already interviewed Sam, but wanted to include comment on social attitudes to homosexuality from other council members.

However the general purposes committee banned the offending camera from Durham’s hallowed halls, and Sam was accused of using the programme to further his political career. Councillor Ron Stitt, spokesman for the Independent Party said: “I absolutely deplore this, I will discuss it openly but I will not allow the city council to be a little hub in a big wheel to expound councillors’ private lives. I consider what he does in his private life is his own concern and no business of the council.”

Oddly enough, Sam agreed that cameras should be kept out as a matter of overall policy but states: “I am not doing it for political gain, and to prove it I have decided not to stand in the forthcoming Durham County Council elections, in which I was a prospective Liberal candidate. I was making the programme to help other people. The Gay Liberation Movement is very important to me.”

The programme’s producer, Brian Blake commented that he was not disappointed, and that it would make no difference to the final programme, which could be screened any time within the next two months.

What Durham Does Today, New York….?

Although the Gays of the world can’t exactly be said to be united, at least there are signs that they’re beginning to think alike. And the thinking seems to be ‘If you can’t beat the establishment, join it and attack from the inside.’ In Durham, Sam Green has achieved fame as probably England’s only self-avowed homosexual Councillor, and now in New York John Owles, a former President of the Gay Activists’ Alliance is running on the Democratic ticket for a seat on the 43-member Council, New York’s legislative body.

This has only been made possible because of the political pressure which homosexual organisations in America have brought to bear on the ‘straight establishment’ and because of the changing attitudes towards gays which has been one of the benefits of the ‘permissive society’.

“I’m a candidate who happens to be gay and I’m seeking to bring gay people into the political process because oppression of gays can only be ended through political action.” he stated at a fund raising meeting. Other aims include removing all barriers to sexual acts betweeit consenting persons, and to end discrimination in all its insidious forms against homosexuals.

The usual arguments between moderates and activists within the Gay Movement then developed. The moderates’ objections to the fact that Osley’s supporters did not include any ‘straights’, that the problems of the poor, the drug addicts, and crime in the streets are more important that the gay issues were answered by the activists, who claimed that gay people suffered more than any minority within the city.

James Osley countered with the fact that he was just as concerned as any ‘straight’ with the quality of life in New York, and that he would stress many issues unconnected with homosexuals, and that he’d include the ‘straights’ in his campaign at a later date.

James admits that his chances of election are slender, even though his district, which includes Greenwich Village, is probably one of the most liberated and liberal in New York.

“But even if we should lose,” he said, “this campaign is going to be extremely important. Because we’re going to get a lot of people talking openly about what we stand for – civil rights for gay people. And that’s what counts.”

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.

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.