John Gielgud’s little porn play

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John Gielgud, pictured in 1950 | Jane Bown | 15408

A gay porn film based on a screenplay written by the late Sir John Gielgud has finished production, despite opposition from his estate. Trouser Bar is set in a menswear shop where an orgy takes place and stars Nigel Havers and Julian Clary as passersby. The screenplay was secretly written by Gielgud – known for his roles in Julius Caesar and Arthur – for Peter de Rome. David McGillivray, the producer, told The Guardian:

“Pornography is still a stigma in this country, but Sir John loved porn and, in his letters, he talks about visiting gay cinemas,” he said. “I was shocked when the trust didn’t give me permission. We stuck to Sir John’s script very tightly when we made the film a couple of weeks ago. He was very specific about the clothes he wanted the actors to wear.”

The script, written in the late 1970s, was passed on from de Rome to McGillivray before his death last year. The low-budget feature now risks a legal battle before finding an audience. “They have come down heavily on me,” McGillivray said. “They are using intellectual copyright as an excuse.”

The late actor’s estate are trying to block the film.

The actor and theatre director Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was born on 14 April 1904 and died on 21 May 2000. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. He was born into a large theatrical family, one of his brothers, Val, securing a job at the BBC as head of BBC radio drama. Sir John’s acting career began in 1921.

Wikipedia notes

After his return from America in February 1937 Gielgud starred in He Was Born Gay by Emlyn Williams. This romantic tragedy about French royalty after the Revolution was quite well received during its pre-London tour, but was savaged by the critics in the West End.

On the evening of 20 October 1953, Gielgud, just knighted, usually highly discreet about casual sex, was arrested in Chelsea for cruising in a public lavatory. Gielgud was fined.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/28/john-gielgud-scripted-gay-porn-film-still-faces-estate-opposition

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Database extended

Behind all blogs, there is a “relational database” – and the database behind Gay History has now been extended to include decades. The Category Cloud has been replaced by a list of categories, and you will notice that links to articles by decade have started to be inserted. The update is completed. Paul

The Boothby Scandal

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Robert Boothby in 1945 | Public domain | 15405

In 1964, a major scandal threatened to engulf the UK’s Conservative Government when it was made aware of an alleged relationship between Robert (Bob) Boothby and gangland leader Ronnie Kray. Born in 1900 and educated at Eton and Oxford, he trained as an officer in the Brigade of Guards (but was too young for active service in the first world war). He then became a stockbroker and was first elected to Parliament in 1924.

Boothby married twice: between 1935 and 1937 he was married to Diana Cavendish and he married again in 1967 to Wanda Sanna. He is rumoured to have had children with other ladies under the noses of their husbands.

By 1964 Boothby had been given a life peerage and was a member of the House of Lords. He had previous held a Scottish seat of Parliament until he was elevated to the Lords in 1958. Then MI5 gained intelligence that Boothby was in a relationship with his chauffeur Leslie Holt and London gangster Ronnie Kray. The intelligence came from The Sunday Mirror which had allegedly acquired a photo of Boothby with Holt and Kray. MI5 concluded that Boothby’s private life was of no concern, since he had no access to classified secrets. It may not have had security implications for the country, but the affair had all the hallmarks of a potentially devastating political scandal – just months after the Profumo scandal – which would show the government yet again in a bad light.

MI5 files now declassified under the 50 year rule and released by the National Archives allege that the men went to “homosexual parties” together and were “hunters” of young men. The relationship between Boothby and Kray caused such concern within Downing Street that the then head of MI5 was summoned to the Home Office. The government was worried about a scandal greater than the so-called Profumo Affair. As well they might. The newspapers had information that from 1930 he had a long affair with Lady Dorothy Macmillan, wife of the Conservative politician Harold Macmillan, who was Prime Minister until he stood down through poor health in 1963.

Boothby was faced with the allegations and the alleged photograph. He said the photograph showed them discussing “business matters”, dismissing rumours about his personal life as a “tissue of atrocious lies”. The Sunday Mirror, which had not printed the photo or the story, ended up paying £40,000 damages to Boothby.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11948323/lord-boothby-sex-parties-ronnie-kray-mi5-documents.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34612729

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Gay Marriage in the UK

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How to Man Up | 14018

Gay Marriage in England, Scotland and Wales

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 became law on 17 July 2013. The Act permitted same sex marriages in England and Wales commencing from 29 March 2014. Couples wishing to be among the first to marry had to give formal notice of their intention to marry on 13 March 2014.

The Act introduced the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, and contained measures about gender change by married persons and civil partners, about consular functions in relation to marriage, for the marriage of armed forces personnel overseas, for permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations to be solemnized on the authority of certificates of a superintendent registrar, for the review of civil partnership, and for the review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes.

A marriage between two people of the same sex became legal, but religious organisations were not compelled to perform them. There were guidelines by which the religious opt-out will be enforced and enabled. Same sex marriages could be conducted in religious buildings and the Act states how they should be performed and registered.

For members of the Church of England, that means that you will not be able to get married in Church, you will have to get married somewhere else, and then go and see your Vicar to have your union blessed informally by him. He is required to discuss aspects of the Church’s teachings about marriage with you.

Same sex marriages are allowed in other religions and in Chapels in the Armed Forces. Deathbed same sex marriages are also legalised. Marriages of same sex couples in Churches in Wales are legalised.

Couples who have already had a civil partnership ceremony would be able to convert their civil partnership into a full marriage from 10 December, 2014. To convert a civil partnership into marriage, a couple will have to attend a registry office and sign a declaration that they wish to be married in front of a registrar. A set of Statutory Instruments to enable this is being drawn up between a number of Government Departments.

Persons who have had a gender change can take part in same sex marriages.

The Foreign Marriage Act of 1862 was repealed.

15,098 gay couples have legally married since gay marriage became legal on 29 March 2014.

7,366 were new marriages and 7,732 were conversions from civil partnerships to marriages.

The number of couples opting for civil partnerships fell by 70% between 2013 and 2014. The most popular month in which to get married was August 2014 with 844 marriages.

55% of marriages were between female couples and 45% were between male couples.

Gay Marriage became legal in Scotland on 16 December 2014.

The Jersey Assembly voted in September 2015 to introduce gay marriage on the island from 2017.

Scottish Government – Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill
The Same Sex Marriage Act 2013 [pdf]
Directgov, No Date: Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK
Deed Poll Service, No Date: A couple’s name change rights and options upon a civil partnership
Gov UK, No Date: Civil partnerships review terms of reference and timetable
Government of Scotland, No Date: Scottish Government Review of Civil Partnership
Science Daily, 13 July 2010: How sexual agreements affect HIV risk, relationship satisfaction
The Law Commission, 6 Feb 2012: Clarifying the law on financial provision for couples when relationships end
BBC News, 12 Dec 2012: Gay marriage: Draft bill launched in Scotland
Gay History, 17 July 2013: Gay Marriage, England and WalesGuardian, 5 Nov 2013: Ireland to hold referendum on gay marriage
BBC News, 10 Dec 2013: Same-sex weddings to begin in March
Pink News, 24 Jan 2014: UK Government launches consultation into future of civil partnerships
BBC, 4 Feb 2014: Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill is passedDaily Telegraph, 15 Feb 2014: Church offers prayers after same sex weddings but bans gay priests from marrying
Guardian, 26 June 2014: Civil partnerships can be converted to marriages from December 2014
BBC, 16 December 2014: Gay marriage becomes legal in Scotland
BBC News, 19 October 2015 – Gay marriage statistics

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The Review of Civil Partnerships

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How to Man Up | 14018

The UK Government decided to review the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Concerns were raised by MPs over the issue of civil partnerships and their role in light of same sex marriage legislation.

The Civil Partnership Act was passed by the House of Lords on 17 November 2004. It enabled single sex couples to officially register their partnerships and themselves as civil partners, bringing them certain legal rights and responsibilities on a par with married couples. Civil Partnership registration services became available throughout the UK (except the Isle of Man) on 21 December 2005. The Isle of Man civil partnership act came into effect on 6 April 2011.

In 2011, 6,795 couples had UK civil partnership ceremonies, an increase of 6.4% since 2010. Dissolutions were up by a quarter. In 2004 the Labour government estimated that between 11,000 and 22,000 people would be likely to take-up civil partnerships by 2010; by the end of last year, it was actually 106,834. Lesbian couples are more likely than male gay couples to dissolve their partnerships. 2.2 per cent of gay male civil partnerships had ended in dissolution, compared to 4.6 per cent of lesbian partnerships. There were 672 dissolutions in 2011, up from 522 in 2010. Male couples on average formed civil partnerships at the age of just over 40, while lesbian women were typically 38 years old.

The review was intended to

look at the functioning and operation of the 2004 Act in England and Wales, decide what the future of the Act should be, assess the need and demand for civil partnerships after marriage becomes available for same sex couples, consider whether Civil Partnerships should be made available to all couples, do risk assesments and cost/benefit assessments, and make recommendations.

The results of the review were published in June 2014.

Over 10,000 people took part in the consultation. Less than a third of respondents supported abolition of civil partnership. The majority were against closing civil partnership to new couples. Over three-quarters were against opening up civil partnership to opposite sex couples.

As there was a lack of consensus on the way forward, the Government decided not to make any further changes. Gay couples now have the choice of a civil partnership or a marriage, but straight people do not have the option to opt for a civil partnership.

The results of the review of civil partnerships, June 2014

Stephen Port – The Barking Murders, 2014

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Stephen Port | 16284ga

This post was updated on 14 May 2017.

Stephen Port, 40, who was alleged to have murdered four men he had met over gay websites and who were later found dead in an east London graveyard, first appeared in court on 19 October 2015.

Port appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison with intent to endanger life between last June and September this year. He was sent for trial at the Old Bailey.

The four men were found dead in the churchyard at St Margaret’s Church, in North Street, Barking. All had died from an overdose of the drug GHB allegedly administered by Port.

Anthony Walgate, 23, a second year art, fashion and design student at University of Middlesex and originally from Hull, was found dead in the early hours of June 2014 in Cooke Street, Barking, a short distance from the church. Gabriel Kovari, 22, from Deptford, was found in August by a member of the public who also found the body of Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend, Kent, in September in the same part of the churchyard. Jack Taylor, 25, from Dagenham, was found near the Abbey Ruins, in September this year, just 300 yards from where Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth were found.

His trial was held at The Old Bailey in November 2016.

Port was found guilty on 23 November 2016. He has been found guilty of the murders of four young men using fatal doses of date rape drug GHB.

He was also found guilty of the murders of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and 25-year-old Jack Taylor.

He was also convicted of four rapes, four assaults by penetration and ten counts of administering a substance with intent.

Port was sentenced on 25 November 2016. He will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murders of four young gay men. Victims’ relatives cheered and clapped as Mr Justice Openshaw told Port he would never be released, and one woman in the public gallery of the Old Bailey courtroom called the impassive Port a “scumbag”.

Port stalked his victims on dating websites like Grindr and plied them with drinks spiked with fatal amounts of the drug GHB. He then raped them while they were unconscious, and dumped their bodies in or near a graveyard within 500 metres of his flat in Barking, east London.

Then he embarked on an elaborate cover-up, disposing of their mobile phones, repeatedly lying to police and even planted a fake suicide note in the hand of one of his victims, taking the blame for the death of another of his victims.

Port was found guilty of the murders after a jury deliberated for 28 hours and 27 minutes. He was also convicted of a string of sex offences against seven other men who came forward following his arrest.

A man in the public gallery shouted at Port: “I hope you die a long slow death you piece of s–t.”

UK police are reviewing the deaths of dozens men who used sex-enhancing drugs, amid concerns that cases previously dismissed as drug overdoses may be further victims of serial killer Stephen Port.

The Metropolitan Police Service told CNN they had identified at least 58 deaths from poisoning by the date rape drug GHB between June 2011 and October 2015 — the period in which Port carried out his crimes.

“It is not known if these deaths were related to chemsex activities. In many cases police involvement was limited with the matter dealt with by the coroner,” a police spokesman told CNN. “A review of these deaths is now under way to establish any suspicious circumstances.”

In May 2017 it was announced that 17 members of the victims’ families are suing the Metropolitan Police, claiming that officers discriminated against their relatives because they were gay. They allege there were “breaches of duty and inaction” and accuse the force of breaching the Equality Act 2010, of negligence, and misusing or abusing their power by failing to properly investigate; and are seeking “aggravated and exemplary damages” in excess of £200,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/23/serial-killer-stephen-port-guilty-date-rape-drug-deaths-three/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/25/serial-killer-stephen-port-handed-whole-life-term-murder-four/

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/man-poisoned-four-people-he-met-on-gay-dating-websites-a3093841.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/24/europe/stephen-port-serial-killer-investigation/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grindr-stephen-port-scotland-yard-met-police-homophobia-serial-killer-a7734031.html


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Adoption: the secret way of getting married for gay men

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Bayard Rustin and Walter Naegle | NPR | 15399

The New York Times have been delving into the history of gay men who could not marry, so one partner adopted the other partner, instead.

Adult adoption by gays and lesbians has only been quietly discussed, both in or outside the gay community, for fairly obvious reasons; there isn’t an easy way to tell your friends and family that the man or woman with whom you share a bed is, legally, your son or father, or your daughter or mother. Consequently, there are no reliable data — or even flimsy data — as to the number of such adoptions, and experts in the field are unwilling to hazard a guess. The practice seems to have taken hold amid the tumult of the 1970s and 1980s, during rampant discrimination and the onset of the AIDS crisis.

Some famous people got round the lack of an option to get married by one adopting the other, it seems. Bayard Rustin and Walter Naegle, pictured, used the legal dodge to protect their interests.

Naegle and Rustin were attracted to each other immediately — they kissed for the first time that day — and became a couple thereafter. During their 10 years together, marriage was not discussed; it simply wasn’t imaginable. .. Rustin wanted to ensure that Naegle — who, at 37 years his junior, would surely outlive him — would inherit his estate, he availed himself of the least-bad option: adoption… Naegle recalled the adoption process: First, his biological mother had to legally disown him. Then a social worker was dispatched to the Rustin-Naegle home in Manhattan to determine if it was fit for a child. “She was apprised of the situation and knew exactly what was happening,” Naegle told me. “Her concern, of course, was that he wasn’t some dotty old man that I was trying to take advantage of, and that I wasn’t some naive young kid that was being preyed upon by an older man.”

The adoption proved a shrewd decision. Naegle, as next of kin, had visiting privileges when Rustin was hospitalized for a perforated appendix and peritonitis and was eventually executor of the will. Despite the oddness of the arrangement, it was, all things considered, legally seamless.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/19/magazine/the-lost-history-of-gay-adult-adoption.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/28/418187875/long-before-same-sex-marriage-adopted-son-could-mean-life-partner (Audio report NPR)


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Kansas group prepares for 50th anniversary

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In February 1966, gay activists gathered at a downtown Kansas City hotel. The meeting led to the “The Phoenix Society for Individual Freedom,” which opened an LGBT community center and began a publication that was distributed nationally, notes Fox News.

The Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America at the University of Missouri-Kansas City says a community committee is working with city officials to determine the best way to commemorate the anniversary. Possibilities include educational activities and a historic marker at the meeting site.

GLAMA co-founder Stuart Hinds says the group is “eager to advance awareness of the modern struggle for equality.”

http://fox2now.com/2015/10/08/group-makes-plans-for-50th-anniversary-of-gay-rights-meeting/


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