Criminal Acts and Equal Rights
In the not so far off past homosexuality in the UK was a crime, legislation was created to stop “promoting homosexuality” but that doesn’t mean the LGBTQ+ community didn’t take a stand.
1. What famous writer was charged with “gross indecency” for having a relationship with another man and spent time in Holloway prison?
After his arrest on 6 April 1895 Wilde was held in remand at Holloway Prison. He was charged on 25 May 1895 and imprisoned first at Newgate Prison, then Pentonville Prison, then Wandsworth Prison and finally Reading Gaol.
W. H. Auden
2. Peter Wildeblood was the only publicly known gay man interviewed by a committee who would produce a report that would eventually lead to the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between two men over the age of 21 in private. What was the name of the report?
The Wolfenden Report
Wildeblood was arrested on 9 January 1954 and during the trial, known as The Montagu Trial, he publicly declared his homosexuality. Mixed public opinion on the trial led to an inquiry by a Committee directed by Sir John Wolfenden which produced the Wolfenden Report.
The Montagu Report
The Turing Report
3. What legislation resulted in the censorship of LGBT+ relationships in schools and local authorities in the UK?
Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988
A Local Government Amendment Bill to prohibit Local Authorities from “promoting homosexuality” was first tabled in 1986. On 24 May 1988 Section 28 became law. Although the law did not explicitly state that schools were also included, confusion regarding the legislation led schools to err on the side of caution.
Sexual Offences Act 1967
Local Government Act 1986
4. What organisation in the UK was set up with the initial purpose of opposing the legislation in question 3?
In 1989 Stonewall was founded by a group of people who were campaigning against Section 28. Today Stonewall is a registered charity campaigning for equality for LGBTQ+ people.
5. In what year was the legislation in question 3 repealed in England?
An attempt to repeal the legislation was made in 2000 in England but was unsuccessful. In 2000, it was however successfully repealed in Scotland. In 2003 Section 28 was successfully repealed in England and Wales.
6. The first LGBT+ protest rally took place in 1970, where in Islington was the protest held?
Provoked by an an arrest of a Young Liberal, Louis Eakes, 150 members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) held a torchlight rally against police harassment in Highbury Fields on 27 November 1970
Islington Town Hall
7. In what year was homosexuality decriminalised in England and Wales?
The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised homosexual acts between two men in private over the age of 21 in England and Wales. In Scotland, homosexual acts for men over the age of 21 were decriminalised in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 and in Northern Ireland in the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982
8. Same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in March 2014. One of the first marriage ceremonies took place at Islington Town Hall. What well-known activist was the chief witness?
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 passed in July 2013 and came into force March 2014. Several couples celebrated by getting married.
9. On 10 April 1984 the independent LGBTQ+ bookshop Gay’s The Word was raided by HM Customs and Excise, what was the name of the operation?
During the raid a large number of the bookshop’s stock deemed as obscene was confiscated and charges were made against the shop’s directors. In response the Defend Gay’s The Word Campaign was set up and the charges were eventually dropped in 1986.
10. LAGER was a charity that provided support for LGBT people who were facing discrimination in the work place due to their sexuality. What does LAGER stand for?
Lesbian And Gay Employment Rights
LAGER provided information, advise and support for individuals, trade unions, local authorities, voluntary organisations and community groups. In 2004 the organisation ceased to exist due to funding issues.
Lesbian And Gay Equality Resolution
Lesbian And Gay Employee Respect