Allan Horsfall | Public domain | 14354
Gay Activist is sad to learn of the death of a major figure in British gay history, Allan Horsfall, who has died at the age of 84. With Colin Harvey, he set up the Homosexual Law Reform Committee, one of Britain’s first gay rights groups, in 1964. It became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Horsfall was also a Labour party politician.
Peter Tatchell said: “Allan was arguably the grandfather of the modern gay rights movement in Britain. We all walk in Allan’s shadow. He was active in LGBT campaigning until a few months before his death. Allan deserves a Queer State Funeral.”
George Broadhead, a veteran LGBT campaigner and humanist, said: ‘Like another prominent gay Humanist Anthony Grey who died in 2010, Allan made an invaluable contribution to the campaign for LGBT rights. Very few people nowadays have heard of him. But in those days to put your head above the parapet was very brave. He got into a great deal of trouble with the Labour Party for getting involved in gay rights but somebody has got to start these things.”
Ray Gosling said: “Allan’s contribution to gay rights is he invented it. Allan was the founder of it all and a great inspiration to me and a lovely, lovely friend. He had a wonderful life until really his last few days.”
Even after homosexuality was decriminalized in Britain in 1967, Horsfall continued his campaigning work, in 1998 he worked on the case of the Bolton Seven, a group of men who had sex with each other and got prosecuted because, although homosexuality was legal, group sex between men was not; the last major case before British sexual offences laws were completely reviewed and equalized for gay and straight people – with the exception of sex in public toilets which remains criminal, and is mainly targeted at men who have sex with men.
There was a Humanist funeral ceremony at Overdale Crematorium, Bolton, England on 6 September 2012.
Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.