Ian Harvey, MP and gay campaigner

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Amazon | 15264

After a career in the forces including war service, University, marriage and public service on local councils, Ian Harvey stood for Harrow East in the 1950 general election, winning the seat and holding it in the 1951 and 1955 general elections. From 1955 to 1957 he was secretary of the 1922 Committee. He was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply in 1956, becoming a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office in 1958. Unfortunately he was not there for long.

In November 1958, Harvey and a Guardsman from the Coldstream Guards were found in the bushes in St James’s Park and arrested; Harvey tried to give a false name on arrest. Both were charged with gross indecency and breach of the park regulations; when tried on 10 December, the indecency charge was dropped and both were fined £5.

‘A young guardsman in uniform passed me at a slow pace and I knew what that meant,’ he explained later. ‘I turned and caught up with him and we went into St James’s Park.’

‘If (as I fear) he is guilty, he must resign his post in the Govt and his seat in Parliament,’ then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote in his diary. ‘I saw him this morning and did my best to comfort him. But it is a terrible thing and has distressed me greatly.’

Harvey resigned his ministerial post and his seat, forcing a by-election early in 1959; he paid the guardsman’s fine as well as his own.

In 1971 he published his book, To Fall Like Lucifer. From 1972 onwards he was the Vice-President of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, and from 1980 onwards Chairman of the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality. He continued to serve on various public bodies until his death.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Douglas Harvey RA, born 25 January 1914, died 10 January 1987.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339300/Liberace-Tory-minister-seduced-guardsmen–bitterly-divided-Britain-Historian-David-Kynaston-tells-battle-gay-rights-split-country.html

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Paul Monette

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Paul Monette (left) and his partner Roger Horwitz (right) | The Monette-Horwitz Trust | 15191

Writer Paul Monette, whose autobiography, “Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story,” a memoir of suppressing and then celebrating his homosexuality, won the US 1992 National Book Award for nonfiction, died at home of complications from AIDS on February 10, 1995 aged 49. New York Times writer Esther B. Fein observed that

Mr. Monette’s memoir and a previous book about nursing a lover who died of AIDS humanized the tragedy of the disease and the torment of denying one’s homosexuality, but it also brought to life the rich relationships that some gay men enjoy.

Born in Lawrence, Mass., on Oct. 16, 1945, he described in “Becoming a Man” growing up in an ordinary middle-class world in which he became obsessed with his homosexual yearnings but had to suppress them: “Never lost my temper, never raised my voice. A bland insipid smile glazed my face instead, twin to the sexless vanilla of my body.” He went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, then taught English at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass., and Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He noted that his background was frighteningly similar to many of the “conservative homophobes” with whom he crossed political swords.

Mr. Monette came out in 1974 when he met Roger Horwitz and the two set up home in Los Angeles, where they lived together for 10 years while Mr. Monette wrote what he described as “glib and silly little novels,” many with gay protagonists, including “Taking Care of Mrs. Carrol” and “The Gold Diggers.”

Mr. Horwitz died of AIDS in 1985 which Monette chronicled in the best-selling and acclaimed “Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir” (1988). In a review in The New York Times, William M. Hoffman praised the book, saying,

“Mr. Monette has etched a magnificent monument to his lover’s bravery, their commitment to each other and the plague of hatred and ignorance they had to endure.”

A few years later, Monette lost a second companion to AIDS, Stephen F. Kolzak, a casting director for several television shows, including “Cheers” and “Starsky and Hutch.” When he was found to have full-blown AIDS he wrote his last book, “Last Watch of the Night,” while hooked up to three intravenous tubes and taking a mound of tablets every day.

Paul Monette mentored many aspiring writers. He said that the torment of suppressing his sexuality for so long and the inescapable threat of AIDS inspired him to become active in gay politics and to encourage young writers, whenever his health allowed.

The Monette-Horwitz Trust founded in his and Rogers’ names, honours individuals and organizations making significant contributions toward eradicating homophobia.

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London: Ken Livingstone and Partnership Ceremonies

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Ian Burford and Alexander Cannell, Ken Livingstone, Linda Wilkinson and Carol Budd at the first ceremony | Mayor of London/BBC | 17171gh

In 2001 London Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a partnership registration service for same sex couples. The registrations recognised the partnership of the individuals but did not confer any legal rights. The new register was called the London Partnerships Register. The register was open to heterosexual as well as gay couples.

The first couple to take advantage of the scheme, which pre-dated Civil Partnerships and demonstrated the need and desirability of giving same sex couples rights, were Ian Burford and Alexander Cannell, pictured above, who had been together already for 38 years.

They had a five-minute ceremony conducted by Rob Coward, a specially-trained officer with Greater London Authority.

Couples taking part in the ceremony received a certificate but the register was not made available to the public for confidentiality reasons. The register was designed to be self-financing, charging couples £85 to register their details.

The Greater London Authority was the first public body in the United Kingdom to recognise same-sex relationships as being on a par with heterosexual partnerships.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1525205.stm

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Magnus Hirschfeld

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Magnus Hirschfeld | Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld | 14475

Magnus Hirschfeld was born on 14 May 1868. He was a German physician and sexologist who founded the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft which many regard as the very first gay rights campaigning organisation.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Peter Tatchell notes that

At medical school, he was traumatised by a lecture on ‘sexual degeneracy’, where a gay man – who had been incarcerated in an asylum for 30 years because of his homosexuality – was paraded naked before the students like a laboratory animal. Hirschfeld was the only student revolted by such mistreatment. All the others, even his best friend, viewed it as normal and justified.

Further trauma ensued when, soon after setting up himself as a doctor in Berlin in 1893, he was waylaid outside his apartment at night by a soldier who was deeply disturbed by his homosexuality. Hirschfeld resisted the soldier’s pleading for a consultation there and then, telling him to come to his surgery the next day. Overnight, however, the soldier committed suicide.

He moved to Berlin in 1896, when he published his first pamphlet, and founded the IFS in 1897. His nickname on the Berlin gay scene was Aunt Magnesia.

The group was formed to undertake research to defend the rights of homosexuals and to repeal Paragraph 175 of 1871 which had criminalized homosexuality. They argued that the law encouraged blackmail. Hirschfeld believed that a better scientific understanding of homosexuality would eliminate hostility toward homosexuals. The group’s petition to overturn Paragraph 175 managed to gather over 5,000 signatures from prominent Germans. Unfortunately success in the German Parliament did not come for many years. There were attempts to change the law in 1921, 1925 and 1929 but all failed.

His views were that homosexuals were like disabled people and that male homosexuals were by nature effeminate. These views eventually caused the organisation to split, and some members left to form the ‘Bund für männliche Kultur’ (Union for Male Culture) which argued that male-male love is a simple aspect of virile manliness rather than a special condition. The Bund did not survive long.

Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld notes that:

Between 1899 and 1923 Hirschfeld and his staff compiled a 20,000-page anthology. The “Yearbooks For Sexual Intermediaries” were intended to show that between the “full man” and the “full woman” there are an infinite number of gradations and combinations. Hermaphrodites, transvestites, homosexuals are the necessary natural link between the two poles of man and woman. The homosexual is a kind of “third sex”.

On 6 July 1919 he opened his new Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexual Research), which housed his archives and library on sexuality, provided educational services and medical consultations – and included a Museum of Sex.

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The Institut für Sexualwissenschaft | Archive for Sexology | 14476

In 1921 Hirschfeld organised the First Congress for Sexual Reform, which led to the formation of the World League for Sexual Reform. He co-wrote and acted in the 1919 film Anders als die Andern (“Different From the Others”), a film which made the case for decriminalisation, which starred Conrad Veidt as one of the first homosexual characters ever written for cinema. The authorities banned the film in 1920 but by then many gay and lesbian people had seen the film and described the experience as “liberating”.

The Nazis attacked Hirschfeld’s Institute on 6 May 1933, and burned many of its books as well as its archives.

Hirschfeld died on 14 May 1935 in Nice, France.

Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld

Huffington Post: Magnus Hirschfeld advanced LGBT rights in the 1800s – his pioneering work mustn’t be forgotten

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The London Gay Centre, Cowcross Street

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67-69 Cowcross Street | 2014 | Google Street View | 14474

The London Gay Centre at 67-69 Cowcross Street, London was established by the Greater London Council in 1984-5 with a grant of around £750,000. Plans were for facilities including club/performance space, cooking and dining space, a bookshop, a daycare, a lounge and meeting room, a media resource center, offices and other meeting spaces. London was trying to emulate Birmingham, which had opened a Gay Centre in 1976.

Many LGBT organisations of the time were allowed to use the centre for postal purposes.

As a non-commercial gay venue there were problems with volunteers, political infighting and general mismanagement due to staff turnover.

On 4 May 1985 the minister for local government Kenneth Baker refused an application from the Greater London Council for his consent to a £143,000 grant to the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, using his power to veto grants of over £100,000. His refusal was that there was no evidence that the lesbian and gay community constituted an economically deprived group of the population.

When the GLC was abolished in 1986 ownership of the building was transferred to the London Residuary Body.

The centre continued in operation for five years but mounting losses, including a robbery, resulted in its closure and subsequent sale. The building is now the headquarters of the charity AddAction.

Vice: The London Lesbian and Gay Centre remembered after 30 years

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/04/london-gay-centre-refused-grant-archive-1985

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Karl Heinrich Ulrichs and the early gay rights movement, Berlin, 1867

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The cover of Die Insel (The Island), December 1930, advertising a serialized instalment of “Men for Sale” | German National Library, Leipzig | 14469

A new book, “Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity” by Robert Beachy, documents the history of gay activism in Berlin.

Nancy D. Kates, writing in SF Gate, notes:

The earliest public demand for gay civil rights was made by lawyer and civil servant Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, who addressed the Association of German Jurists in 1867, calling for repeal of antisodomy laws. Ulrichs and his supporters did not prevail in unified Germany, and the newly formed country unfortunately codified these antisodomy laws in 1871 under “Paragraph 175” of the penal code. (The 2000 documentary film “Paragraph 175,” directed by San Francisco filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, deals primarily with Nazi persecution of gay men under the same 1871 law, which they made more extreme. It was not repealed until the late 1960s.)

Things did not go well for Ulrichs, who lost his job, social support and credibility for being so outspoken about the rights of men-loving men. Despite numerous setbacks, Ulrichs continued his advocacy work for decades, publishing a series of pamphlets about the rights and experiences of “Urnings” (gay men) like himself, and blazing a trail for gay rights that would be taken up several decades later, primarily in Berlin.

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Karl Heinrich Ulrichs | Lloyd Duhaime | 14470

The application of the laws was, shall we say, somewhat versatile in Berlin.

…The late 19th century Berlin police chief, Commissioner Leopold von Meerscheidt-Hüllessem, who created the police Department of Homosexuals in 1885, to prosecute cases under Paragraph 175. Since homosexual prostitution and sexual acts were illegal, but gatherings were not, Hüllessem’s force focused on rounding up actual criminals and monitoring Tiergarten Park and other well-known cruising areas. Homosexual gatherings were allowed to flourish with police monitoring: Gay balls required police permits, gay clubs and taverns were regulated, and the police mingled openly in gay crowds, sometimes acting as tour guides for slumming heteros.

Before the Great War, the relatively tolerant city had a huge number of gay establishments, publications (some with nude photos and personal ads), and other gay businesses, as well as a fair number of male prostitutes, called “warm brothers” in the slang of the day. But not always warm: Berlin’s rent boys frequently turned the tables on their wealthier clients, usually married men, threatening to “out” them as homosexuals unless they received large payoffs, resulting in scandals, lawsuits and the suicides of several prominent citizens. Hüllessem’s division eventually changed its name to the Department of Blackmail and Homosexuals.

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was born on 28 August 1825 and died on 14 July 1895.

SF Gate

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LGBT Denmark

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Gay Pride in Copenhagen | 2010 | Unknown photographer | 14464

LGBT Denmark is the Danish National Organisation for Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Trans people and was founded in 1948, originally becoming known as “The Circle of 1948”. It was founded by Axel Axgil, who was Chair until 1952.

Male homosexuality was a crime in Denmark until 1933, under the 1683 law which stated: “Relations against nature is punishable by execution”. By a law of 1866, the death penalty was replaced by a sentence of prison labour. In 1933 sex between adult men aged over 18/21 was de-criminalised.

GLBT Danmark is a co-founder of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

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