The Chymorvah Affair

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Peter and Hazelmary Bull | Apex | 14131

Hazelmary and Peter Bull run the Chymorvah Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall, a guest house, which they run on “religious principles”. The couple refused to let a gay male couple, Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, share a double bedroom, in 2008. Mr and Mrs Bull regard any sex outside marriage as a “sin”.

Mr Preddy and Mr Hall sued. A judge at Bristol County Court ruled that they acted unlawfully when they turned the couple away, and awarded Mr Preddy and Mr Hall damages of £3,600.

The Christian pressure group The Christian Institute, which had financed legal cases for other professionals who would not work with or conduct ceremonies for gay couples, took up the Bull’s case.

In February 2013, Mr and Mrs Bull took their case to the Court of Appeal; however they lost their appeal against a ruling they had acted unlawfully, but were given permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

The UK Supreme Court heard their case in October 2013. The UK Supreme Court announced its ruling on 27 November 2013. Five Supreme Court justices ruled against them.

Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, said: “Sexual orientation is a core component of a person’s identity which requires fulfilment through relationships with others of the same orientation.”

This post was updated on 12 November 2014 to replace lost photograph.

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Toronto’s treasure trove

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Torontoist has been to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, which were begun 40 years ago, when it was started by the gay magazine The Body Politic.

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Get Out Canada | 14133

Originally in a filing cabinet in the magazine’s office, most of the archive is stored in a mid-19th-century home at 34 Isabella Street (pictured). The archive relies on around seventy volunteers.

The photo collection, originally built from the files of The Body Politic, includes rare pictures of lesbians during the Second World War enjoying each other’s company.

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The history of gay neighbourhoods

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Castro Street Fair, 2011 | Aids Legal Referral Panel | 14134

The book “Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence, by Christina B. Hanhardt” is reviewed in Times Higher Education by Marian Dugan.

To a generation that believes gays and lesbians only collect en masse to dance on floats adorned in rainbow flags while in drag or pristine white underpants, the concept of gays rioting never fails to raise an eyebrow or two.

By studying LGBT activism in the US in the latter half of the 20th century, the book shows how contemporary socio-legal gains were made possible by resistance-fuelled, political organising, and how a gay backlash to victimisation became resistance to state violence.

Policing and political strategies to clamp down on deviant behaviour had an effect on neighbourhoods, especially in New York and San Francisco, where those “deviants” gathered.

“Gay space” developed in response to a growth in both visibility and the threat of violence. Safety strategies included community-based patrols to protect gay citizens. However, their focus slowly shifted from state violence to the same social “undesirables” targeted in wider crime-control policies. New forms of multiple marginalisation along gendered, racial and class lines faced those not included in “gay gentrification”.

“The idea that LGBT safety would come through neighborhood-based crime control strategies had become so commonplace that the target of Greenwich Village residents’ neighborhood protection efforts would be the very people who most face the kinds of interpersonal, state-sponsored, and structural violence that the LGBT movement had been founded to fight.”

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Gays and fashion – it started in London!

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The Museum at FIT, New York/Pacific Standard | 14135

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City is curently exhbiting a review of the influence gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women have had on the history of how we dress.

Director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, Valerie Steele, remarks:

…Students of sexuality believe there was a significant change in the early 18th century in Northern Europe that marked the beginning of what we would think of modern heterosexuality and homosexuality. Prior to that, it was a very different sexual regime.

Although there were … subcultures during the Renaissance in Florence, for example, there were no separate gay communities. So a person who slept with other males, like Leonardo da Vinci, would have worn exactly the same clothes as any other man of his age and class. In 18th-century London, however, you start to find gays using clothing as a way of identifying themselves.

In London:

… it was part of a bigger sex and gender revolution, where prior to that, elite men could have sex with both younger men and women and it didn’t make any difference. Afterward, a split began to occur where for most people you were either homosexual or heterosexual. And so, what you see in the 18th century is some gay men who were interested in cross-dressing. Some developed a fashion for themselves, which was like an exaggeration of aristocratic male dress. Some gay men become the precursor of gay fashion designers who make clothes for women.

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Alex Calderwood

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Alex Calderwood | Unknown photographer | Liga studios | 14136

Hotelier Alex Calderwood, the co-founder of Ace Hotels, died in one of his hotel rooms in London and was found on November 21st, 2013. At the time of writing, the cause of death is unknown. Mr Calderwood was 47.

Mr Calderwood opened the first Ace Hotel in Seattle in 1999. The group opened a second hotel in 2007 in Portland, Oregon.

Alex Calderwood grew up in a suburb of Seattle and started his career as the manager of a clothing store in the city called International News. Using his eclectic taste for vintage objects, he bought material from a Boeing surplus store to create a unique atmosphere, Amit Shah, who hired Calderwood, told the Seattle Times.

“He saw what you could do with material that nobody else wanted,” Shah said. “He always had a desire to come up with something new that gave consumers value for their money. He was an entrepreneur and knew how to entertain, but more than that, he was always willing to talk about what the new thing was.”

In 1993 Mr Calderwood co-founded a Seattle chain of retro barbershops called Rudy’s. The successful venture grew to a chain of eight Seattle shops and nine others in Portland, New York and Los Angeles.

Mr Calderwood opened a nightclub in Seattle before opening the first Ace hotel. In 2011 he admitted to the New York Times that he had experienced addiction problems, but had put them behind him. “I am very proud of my sobriety … You get to a certain age, and you get to a certain point, where you realise this is just, like, dragging me down. It’s not fun anymore. I’m not enjoying it.”

He is survived by his parents, sisters, brother and partner.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

This post was updated on 12 November 2014 to add photograph.

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Ray Gosling, 1939 – 2013

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Ray Gosling (2010) | Eddie Mulholland/Telegraph | 14137

Gay rights activist and journalist-broadcaster Ray Gosling has died aged 74. Mr Gosling died yesterday in Nottingham, England.

Gosling was born in Chester in 1939, was educated at Northampton Grammar School and the University of Leicester, became a youth worker in the St Ann’s slums in Nottingham and wrote Sum Total, his autobiography, at the age of 23. The book detailed his work in the city. In the early 1960s he became a television journalist working for the BBC and for commercial television.

In a BBC TV broadcast on 15 February 2010, he claimed that he had killed his lover. “I killed someone once,” he said. “He was a young chap, he’d been my lover and he got Aids. I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead.” It turned out that he had not, and he was prosecuted for wasting police time. It seems his memory had played tricks on him. His career as a broadcaster and documentary maker, however, was over.

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Alfred Redl

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Alfred Redl | Public domain | 14147

Alfred Redl was born on March 14, 1864 in Lemberg, Galicia, which was then in the Austrian Empire and is now known as Lviv, Ukraine, He died by his own hand on May 25, 1913. Openly homosexual and from a poor background, he became the head of the the counter-intelligence organisation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

At the same time, Redl spied for the Russians. Russian military intelligence in Warsaw discovered Redl’s homosexuality as early as 1901, and blackmailed him into revealing classified information. There are also unproved allegations that he also spied for France and Italy.

On May 9, 1913, a letter for Redl sent Poste Restante (to be collected) was intercepted and was found to contain money. After a number of days Redl collected the letter. Redl committed suicide by gunshot.

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