Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Luncheon, censorship and pillow biting

I shall lunch at the National Liberal Club tomorrow.

It is a fine place and supposedly where, in the 1970's, Norman Scott found himself biting the pillow whilst being buggered by Jeremy Thorpe. I understand such dastardly allegations were never proven in court so I should be a little bit careful. But. (Anyone under 45 may need to engage with the internet to discover that the Liberal Party did, once upon a time, mean something more than " I agree with Nick".)

At the time, my Great Aunt Catherine had forthright views on buggery. She once memorably shared them with the room. Me being a teenager, she believed me to be asleep. I wasn't. That's another story.

I shall lunch  tomorrow to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of a little recognised but important milestone in our struggle to challenge such views.

In 1992 a book was commissioned by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK). It was a book to aid those of us, not only afflicted by Christianity but by a homosexual identity also.

At the last minute, under pressure from George Carey, then Archbishop of Canterbury (and lately a star turn in Birmingham) the book was banned by SPCK.

A to do and hoo ha ensued. Placards and battle lines were drawn. Trouble occurred. But, two decades ago - the book was  published by people with more courage

Raise a glass with me tomorrow to the people, not least Dr Elizabeth Stuart, who made it all happen.

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