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Seeking Justice for the Gay Community

CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality) submitted a motion on a Statute of Limitation to this year's Annual General Meeting of LIBERTY (The National Council for Civil Liberty).

The motion had been passed unanimously by CHE in 2008 and CHE has been affiliated to LIBERTY for more than 20 years.

But just submitting this motion has resulted in LIBERTY chucking CHE out – after saying the motion was unacceptable for debate.

So much for LIBERTY
So much for free speech
So much for fair debate

More news later

Money Appeal

All the time we’ve been operating we’ve only had our own little bits of money Plus sometimes £20 or so for doing a talk to a Gay group - So we’ve not had a bank account.
But CHE have now given us £500 in a cheque. Ta.
And we’ve opened a bank account so we can now appeal for funds.

We also now have a PAYPAL account!

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CHE was the largest, most all embracing, most democratic – and most active - mass gay organisation England ever had.

Its time was 1960s, 1970s, and 80s.

It arose when enough gays became strong enough to publicly "come out" and say we are what we are and have a right – a human right - to equality within the law. This hadn't happened before simply because queers - as gays were known and often called themselves – queers were just frightened to publicly say what they were.

The early moves to law reform were done FOR gays by straights – like J.B.Priestley, Leo Abse, Lord Arran - and the first UK gay activist Anthony Grey who was gay – but very quietly so. You had to be in those days. Antony did sterling work for law reform by lobbying the great and good, who would of course be non-gay. This group based in London called itself the Homosexual Law Reform Society and it had its charitable arm called The Albany Trust, after Albany off Piccadilly, London which was J.B.Priestley's flat where the first meetings were held.

But by the 1960s gays themselves started to “come out” and most noteworthy, writing letters to the papers, and articles for left wing periodicals, was a colliery clerk, Allan Horsfall from Lancashire.

Out of Allan Horsfall's energy a group gathered in Manchester to support Antony Grey in London and this group were more radical, and were mainly gay – and quite soon all gay – so it was out of Manchester a movement began to demand full law change. There must be equality: an end to discrimination and C H E as it became called advocated and worked for the practise and use by gays of their rights under the law. And to actively claim what should be their right.

So CHE Campaign for Homosexual Equality became this great national movement of a vast range of gays from Tories to Lefties, from north and south, from promiscuous to partnered – and it worked in two great areas – to lobby for Parliamentarians to change the law – and the harder work of having public opinion constantly being “educated”. And in a second way CHE was great in making pioneering moves to have society accept gays might want their own dances/clubs and ways of meeting. And meeting without fear.

By the 1980s and 1990s many of the objectives had been won and as laws were changed, and gays took advantage, the need for a political mass movement on a CHE scale fell away. Many gays were starting living just normal lives – and partnering openly – and for those who wanted it - creating an open social life – of clubs: chat lines: personal ads: and even cruising pages on the Internet became eventually accepted.

While some gays later took a leaf from the U.S.A. experience and founded a copycat radical pink revolutionary path of Gay Liberation, CHE was always wary of Gay Lib – taking a much broader, all encompassing view that gays came in all shapes and shades and sizes – and true freedom would be when being gay no longer mattered. And of course CHE was democratic – the membership voted: the annual conferences passed binding motions in a trade union manner. It was “built in” though, that victory would be won when to be gay no longer mattered . It'd be the kind of quality of person you are that matters - a situation that has at last, as far as the written law is concerned, come to pass.


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