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Law reform, homosexual identity and the role of counter-culture

2 Reporting change: law reform, homosexual identity and the role of counter-culture Revolt, my child, revolt is a quick axe cleaving dead wood in the forest, by night. The woodsman of the day is the executioner.1 Introduction When the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) of 1967 partially decriminalised homosexuality it also exposed the limits of reform. This chapter focuses on the choices made by homosexual men as new arenas of political and cultural activism instead. The Act was not a clear victory in the interests of homosexuals but was the product of pragmatic

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
Homosexuality and the Left in post-war Britain

1 Politics and culture: homosexuality and the Left in post-war Britain In 1953 Adam de Hegedus wrote The Heart in Exile under the pseudonym Rodney Garland. Up to the late 1960s it was one of the most famous gay novels. The structure is based on a detective story, as a psychiatrist uncovers the reasons for an old lover’s suicide. This takes him back into the hidden homosexual underworld which he had left behind in his youth. As well as fulfilling all sorts of clichés about homosexuality, femininity and deceit, the novel offers a snapshot of the relationship

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
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little relation between the politics of homosexuality and the politics of class. If identity is ‘fluid, unstable, elusive and self-parodying’2 it constitutes the antithesis of socially constructed, objectively defined, grand narratives of class. Moreover, homosexuality has been understood as bourgeois, consumerist and feminised, an anathema to the presumed heterosexual masculinity of the working class. However, this masks a highly integrated relationship between shifts in the Left and the development of a homosexual political identity. In 1975 Jeffrey Weeks wrote in the

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
The revolutionary left and gay politics

9 Something new under the sun The revolutionary left and gay politics Graham Willett Part II Issues The revolutionary left and gay politics When gay politics exploded onto the political scene in the West in the late 1960s, it came, seemingly, out of the blue, without warning or history or antecedents. And although four decades of research have revealed a long history of struggle – which in Europe dates back to the 1860s – in many ways homosexual politics actually was, in the 1960s, something new. The ‘homosexual’ that was referred to in polite, scholarly and

in Against the grain
Praxis, protest and performance

3 Gay liberation 1969–73: praxis, protest and performance And the faggots won’t seem so funny . . . when the revolution comes1 The history of homosexuality has often presented gay activism as spontaneously erupting in a fit of excitement at the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. The riots are named after the bar where they took place, The Stonewall Inn, which was the most popular lesbian and gay venue in Greenwich Village, New York City. Its clientele were predominantly drag queens, butch lesbians and hustlers, and the riots were a reaction against ongoing police

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
How the personal got political

This book demonstrates how the personal became political in post-war Britain, and argues that attention to gay activism can help us to rethink fundamentally the nature of post-war politics. While the Left were fighting among themselves and the reformists were struggling with the limits of law reform, gay men started organising for themselves, first individually within existing organisations and later rejecting formal political structures altogether. Gay activists intersected with Trotskyism, Stalinism, the New Left, feminism and youth movements. As the slogan of the Gay Liberation Front proclaimed, ‘Come out, come together and change the world’. Culture, performance and identity took over from economics and class struggle, as gay men worked to change the world through the politics of sexuality. Throughout the post-war years, the new cult of the teenager in the 1950s, CND and the counter-culture of the 1960s, gay liberation, feminism, the Punk movement and the miners' strike of 1984 all helped to build a politics of identity. When AIDS and Thatcherism impacted on gay men's lives in the 1980s, gay politics came into its own. There is an assumption among many of today's politicians that young people are apathetic and disengaged. This book argues that these politicians are looking in the wrong place. People now feel that they can impact the world through the way in which they live, shop, have sex and organise their private lives. The book shows that gay men and their politics have been central to this change in the post-war world.

authoritarianism – the acceptance of a wider range of sexual difference, with the focus here on homosexuality, and the growth of religious free markets. The latter subject is particularly interesting because the ability to accept pluralism in ‘one’s own backyard’ is often a particularly good test of democratic commitment. In the third section we look for more positive ways in which Orthodoxy may be able to contribute to democratisation, looking at its role in civil society-building in Russia and the experience of minority Orthodox communities in the USA. Our conclusion draws

in Christianity and democratisation
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The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda

Center figures, the swing category included 30 per cent of independents, 27 per cent of those defining themselves as moderate Republicans and 22 per cent of moderate Democrats.26 As Chapter 8 records, women, Roman Catholics and those with less than high school education were disproportionately represented. The middle ground in American politics is of particular significance when moral concerns are considered. Even those who have welldefined views on other issues often hesitate when the human dilemmas associated with abortion and homosexuality are raised. There is, as Alan

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda

limited to steady, monogamous and longterm relationships.5 Similarly, Tom Smith concludes that the metaphor of a sexual ‘revolution’ is a poor description and an exaggeration if applied to popular attitudes. Although there were significantly higher levels of approval for premarital sex as the 1960s and 1970s progressed, allowing unmarried couples who slept together to do it in a more open and less furtive way, attitudes towards homosexuality and, for that matter, extra-marital sexual relationships, remained firmly traditionalist.6 Once the marriage vows had been taken, an

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
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Aspects of the ‘triangular’ relations between Europeans, Muslims and Jews

has been termed as a primitive culture and the Dutch atheist way of life as superior. Islam has been depicted as fundamentally alien and a worrying, irrational, tribal and archaic phenomenon that challenges the notion of the Netherlands as a free and emancipated secular society. Muslims have been accused of being involved with gangs and the raping of Dutch women, female genital mutilation, attacks on homosexuals, honour killings, etc. Mandatory abortion has been suggested for Muslim teenagers. Hate crimes against Muslims have soared and bombs have been thrown at

in Haunted presents