The ArgusIt's only right that Brighton hosted one of the UK's first gay marriages (From The Argus)

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It's only right that Brighton hosted one of the UK's first gay marriages

The Argus: It's only right that Brighton hosted one of the UK's first gay marriages It's only right that Brighton hosted one of the UK's first gay marriages

Brighton was the gay capital of Britain long before homosexuality became legal, because it was a tolerant town.

Celebrated gay people such as Sir Terence Rattigan and Gilbert Harding settled there, along with a few thousand others who were not so well known.

So it seemed entirely appropriate that Brighton - now a city and incorporating Hove - should host some of the first gay weddings at the weekend.

Prejudice against homosexuality lingered for a long time in Britain. As late as the mid-1950s, Quintin Hogg, later to become a leading Conservative cabinet member, indulged in a rant against gay people remarkable for being both intemperate and vituperative.

All too often it was assumed that gay people were bound to corrupt and attack vulnerable members of the heterosexual majority, even though few of them ever did.

Even in a tolerant town, Harding never felt able to come out as a gay although he came close to it in a celebrated TV interview with John Freeman shortly before he died in 1960.

Rattigan had to rewrite Separate Tables so that a homosexual affair was eliminated and the play was not presented in its original form until well after his death.

Brighton, more accepting than anywhere else, was congenial for gay people if they kept themselves to themselves because every homosexual knew there were gangs of gay bashers who might attack them at night.

The police prowled around Brighton's then numerous public lavatories in the hope of arresting gay people for acts usually described as gross indecency.

So it was a huge relief for many homosexuals when the reforming Home Secretary Roy Jenkins persuaded Parliament in the late 1960s to change the law.

But it has taken the best part of half a century since then for gay weddings like those welcomed at the weekend to become legal.

Even now the Church of England has managed to make an exception so that gay weddings cannot be conducted in cathedrals, churches and chapels.

There are also restrictions on same sex weddings between clerics which are both astonishing and ridiculous.

Prejudice against homosexuality still exists in this country but is largely confined to elderly people who often consider it revolting.

To most people under 30, being gay is not much of an issue. Most heterosexuals have gay friends and think nothing of it.

I can understand the lingering dislike of gays by some older people who have not adjusted to this change in society or many others. But I do not share it myself and never have done.

Many churchgoers feel as passionately against gay marriage as they do about women bishops, often producing words from the Bible to back their beliefs.

But gay weddings were inevitably going to arrive and other reforms removing all barriers to homosexuality will take place in the next few years if the Church is not to fade away and die.

Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal.

They deserve their day in the sun after enduring so much mindless prejudice and homophobia over the years.

But the more radical and flamboyant members of the gay community must be careful not to alienate the people who do not share their persuasion.

Some seek positive discrimination when equality is perfectly acceptable.

Gay groups need to avoid damaging and often bitter arguments which in Brighton have often taken the traditional view of homosexual bitching to a point beyond parody.

They also need to ensure gay people are not guilty of the same sort of prejudice they have endured for so long.

Walking in the gay area of Manchester last year, I was subjected to swearing and threats by a café customer that were unpleasant and unacceptable.

Most gay people I know do not want to draw attention to themselves and their homosexuality. They just want to be accepted and go about their daily lives without being condemned for being different.

Gay marriages are a big step forward but future reforms are more likely to be achieved by calm, rational argument rather than rants.

Comments (17)

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7:37am Wed 2 Apr 14

rogerthefish says...

"Most gay people I know do not want to draw attention to themselves and their homosexuality. They just want to be accepted and go about their daily lives without being condemned for being different"

I suppose that goes for the gays wearing sequinned thongs on gay pride day as well, which is what puts me off about the gay community.
"Most gay people I know do not want to draw attention to themselves and their homosexuality. They just want to be accepted and go about their daily lives without being condemned for being different" I suppose that goes for the gays wearing sequinned thongs on gay pride day as well, which is what puts me off about the gay community. rogerthefish
  • Score: 6

8:13am Wed 2 Apr 14

Boloney-marshal says...

It's nice to see two men in a loving embrace - instead of trying to kill each other on a battlefield!
It's nice to see two men in a loving embrace - instead of trying to kill each other on a battlefield! Boloney-marshal
  • Score: 0

10:37am Wed 2 Apr 14

Herbertfarquarson says...

Probably the worst newspaper item I have ever read. I won't explain why as Mr. Trimingham obviously doesn't feel the need to. Shocking!
Probably the worst newspaper item I have ever read. I won't explain why as Mr. Trimingham obviously doesn't feel the need to. Shocking! Herbertfarquarson
  • Score: -3

10:42am Wed 2 Apr 14

clubrob6 says...

Convenient the Argus does not mention it too was very homophobic even into the 90s,in fact the local gay magazine gscene was set up to give the gay people of Brighton and Hove a say as the Argus was a gutter press totally against the gay community.We still get on occasions attacks against the gay community there was one article last year that openly named a man who was hiv positive what the argus said he used sites that promote unsafe sex,its a gay dating site.The Argus left out the fact that the very same man they were trying to destroy was a promoter of safe sex and has raised tens of thousands for the Sussex beacon.The argus still trys to degrade our gay community but jumps on the gay for the day bandwagon on pride.But any gay that's been in Brighton and Hove for a while will remember how the argus treat us and in my opinion was responsible for some of the gay bashing years ago.
Convenient the Argus does not mention it too was very homophobic even into the 90s,in fact the local gay magazine gscene was set up to give the gay people of Brighton and Hove a say as the Argus was a gutter press totally against the gay community.We still get on occasions attacks against the gay community there was one article last year that openly named a man who was hiv positive what the argus said he used sites that promote unsafe sex,its a gay dating site.The Argus left out the fact that the very same man they were trying to destroy was a promoter of safe sex and has raised tens of thousands for the Sussex beacon.The argus still trys to degrade our gay community but jumps on the gay for the day bandwagon on pride.But any gay that's been in Brighton and Hove for a while will remember how the argus treat us and in my opinion was responsible for some of the gay bashing years ago. clubrob6
  • Score: 3

10:44am Wed 2 Apr 14

Herbertfarquarson says...

Probably the worst newspaper item I have ever read. Perhaps you should explain why you were subjected to threats and swearing in a 'gay area'. Nothing to do with being recognised for the rubbish you write in the Argus I suppose.
Probably the worst newspaper item I have ever read. Perhaps you should explain why you were subjected to threats and swearing in a 'gay area'. Nothing to do with being recognised for the rubbish you write in the Argus I suppose. Herbertfarquarson
  • Score: -1

5:41am Thu 3 Apr 14

lysdexic says...

What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.
What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to. lysdexic
  • Score: -2

8:52am Thu 3 Apr 14

Btnbiker says...

lysdexic wrote:
What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.
Do tell me what we perverts get up to in case I am missing out on something
[quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.[/p][/quote]Do tell me what we perverts get up to in case I am missing out on something Btnbiker
  • Score: 6

12:27pm Fri 4 Apr 14

wippasnapper says...

lysdexic wrote:
What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.
“What those perverts get up to”. Sorry to inform you but Gay people are less perverted than those who are heterosexual i.e. you’re a heterosexual homophobic witch makes you a much worse person than those Gay people who live a normal stable life.
[quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.[/p][/quote]“What those perverts get up to”. Sorry to inform you but Gay people are less perverted than those who are heterosexual i.e. you’re a heterosexual homophobic witch makes you a much worse person than those Gay people who live a normal stable life. wippasnapper
  • Score: 2

9:40am Sat 5 Apr 14

Libertarian Patriot says...

QUOTING Trimingham: "Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal."

The human race has a history that stretches back around 7-10,000 years. There has always been a "program" that applies universally to all people regardless of ethnicity as there is only one kind of human being. It has always been considered "wrong" to steal, murder or commit adultery whether you follow the teachings of Lao Tzu or Jesus. Likewise, the natural combination for the survival of the species has always been male + female. Exceptions have always existed and probably always will.

"Perfectly normal" will never apply to different forms of behaviour that are the exception to the norm. In a free society such exceptions may be accepted and it seems right that those who are in the exceptional class should not be persecuted if they are not harming others. The homosexual community is different in that relationships deviate from the natural or universal norm. We should not try to eliminate exceptions as eccentricity or choice are the marks of a free society. And free choice, free speech, including speech that may be offense to some, or how to belief, must be respected.

IN a free society a tyranny of sameness and uniformity must be avoided. George Orwell illustrates the point in "1984" where the meaning of language was changed to enforce sameness and uniformity. The only choice left in life was stew with or without salt. In the case of homosexual marriage, there is a danger of making everything the same to enforce uniformity of thought and behaviour. Instead of a diverse society we create the nightmare of "1984." Pity the country decided to try to force sameness by not leaving the option of Civil Partnerships to those of the same sex and marriage as an option for the heterosexual community. Such diversity would fit a free society better than the result which will probably never be settled as long as diversity of opinion exists.

The forced acceptance of deviation from norms, which may also be considered as long standing "traditions," is evidenced by the use of the word "phobia." A phobia is a form of mental disease that can range in seriousness from mild neurosis to severe psychosis. Thus, a person who differs in their opinion about the validity of homosexual marriage may simply disagree which is not a sign of mental disease. Some may never accept the validity of same-sex marriage and in a free and tolerant society such views must be permitted. After all, "thought crimes" are the stuff of "1984." We might also add a caution to the use of the term "bigot" as one person's disagreement or judgement may differ from another's and our Supreme Court has recently ruled that no one has the right not to be offended. We live in a thought driven world and being offended is a hazard of life.

Bottom line: I disagree with the views of the writer of this column because they assume one opinion must be accepted over another. As a libertarian my view is to avoid judgmentalism, either way, and allow for diversity of opinion. We are never going to agree on everything and a tolerant society accepts that fact and gets over it. I hope all will agree to do so on the homosexual marriage issue.

One final thing: "Viva la difference."
QUOTING Trimingham: "Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal." The human race has a history that stretches back around 7-10,000 years. There has always been a "program" that applies universally to all people regardless of ethnicity as there is only one kind of human being. It has always been considered "wrong" to steal, murder or commit adultery whether you follow the teachings of Lao Tzu or Jesus. Likewise, the natural combination for the survival of the species has always been male + female. Exceptions have always existed and probably always will. "Perfectly normal" will never apply to different forms of behaviour that are the exception to the norm. In a free society such exceptions may be accepted and it seems right that those who are in the exceptional class should not be persecuted if they are not harming others. The homosexual community is different in that relationships deviate from the natural or universal norm. We should not try to eliminate exceptions as eccentricity or choice are the marks of a free society. And free choice, free speech, including speech that may be offense to some, or how to belief, must be respected. IN a free society a tyranny of sameness and uniformity must be avoided. George Orwell illustrates the point in "1984" where the meaning of language was changed to enforce sameness and uniformity. The only choice left in life was stew with or without salt. In the case of homosexual marriage, there is a danger of making everything the same to enforce uniformity of thought and behaviour. Instead of a diverse society we create the nightmare of "1984." Pity the country decided to try to force sameness by not leaving the option of Civil Partnerships to those of the same sex and marriage as an option for the heterosexual community. Such diversity would fit a free society better than the result which will probably never be settled as long as diversity of opinion exists. The forced acceptance of deviation from norms, which may also be considered as long standing "traditions," is evidenced by the use of the word "phobia." A phobia is a form of mental disease that can range in seriousness from mild neurosis to severe psychosis. Thus, a person who differs in their opinion about the validity of homosexual marriage may simply disagree which is not a sign of mental disease. Some may never accept the validity of same-sex marriage and in a free and tolerant society such views must be permitted. After all, "thought crimes" are the stuff of "1984." We might also add a caution to the use of the term "bigot" as one person's disagreement or judgement may differ from another's and our Supreme Court has recently ruled that no one has the right not to be offended. We live in a thought driven world and being offended is a hazard of life. Bottom line: I disagree with the views of the writer of this column because they assume one opinion must be accepted over another. As a libertarian my view is to avoid judgmentalism, either way, and allow for diversity of opinion. We are never going to agree on everything and a tolerant society accepts that fact and gets over it. I hope all will agree to do so on the homosexual marriage issue. One final thing: "Viva la difference." Libertarian Patriot
  • Score: -4

10:22am Sat 5 Apr 14

welesmere says...

Btnbiker wrote:
lysdexic wrote:
What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.
Do tell me what we perverts get up to in case I am missing out on something
Good on you, man. Can't pass a comment about these self-proclaimed 'normal' people without being labelled homophobic... Talk about a protected species!
[quote][p][bold]Btnbiker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: What a sad, sick place lovely Brighton has become. Makes my stomach heave thinking what those perverts get up to.[/p][/quote]Do tell me what we perverts get up to in case I am missing out on something[/p][/quote]Good on you, man. Can't pass a comment about these self-proclaimed 'normal' people without being labelled homophobic... Talk about a protected species! welesmere
  • Score: 4

2:25pm Sat 5 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

What a hideous article. How many assumptions can this amateur reporter make?

If I said 92% of AIDS related deaths in England have a direct relationship with gay sex, I will no doubt be vilified on here. But that is not an assumption - it is a fact.

The irony in all this is that people who accept the gays as normal will also respect Islam. Yet Islam is vehemently against homosexuality. I find this very odd.

If you are gay, just get on with it. The prejudice comes from then trying to make everything gay and mention it all the time. Nobody cares!!
What a hideous article. How many assumptions can this amateur reporter make? If I said 92% of AIDS related deaths in England have a direct relationship with gay sex, I will no doubt be vilified on here. But that is not an assumption - it is a fact. The irony in all this is that people who accept the gays as normal will also respect Islam. Yet Islam is vehemently against homosexuality. I find this very odd. If you are gay, just get on with it. The prejudice comes from then trying to make everything gay and mention it all the time. Nobody cares!! NathanAdler
  • Score: 4

3:09pm Sat 5 Apr 14

lysdexic says...

Wippasnapper says I am homophobic, nothing could be further from the truth, I an homoLOATHIC also, did you attend school? Your spelling would suggest not: 'witch', I rest my case.
Wippasnapper says I am homophobic, nothing could be further from the truth, I an homoLOATHIC also, did you attend school? Your spelling would suggest not: 'witch', I rest my case. lysdexic
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Sun 6 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

lysdexic wrote:
Wippasnapper says I am homophobic, nothing could be further from the truth, I an homoLOATHIC also, did you attend school? Your spelling would suggest not: 'witch', I rest my case.
I "an" - do you mean I am?? If you are going to correct somebody's English, you have to be 100% perfect yourself surely?

What a tool you are.
[quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: Wippasnapper says I am homophobic, nothing could be further from the truth, I an homoLOATHIC also, did you attend school? Your spelling would suggest not: 'witch', I rest my case.[/p][/quote]I "an" - do you mean I am?? If you are going to correct somebody's English, you have to be 100% perfect yourself surely? What a tool you are. NathanAdler
  • Score: 2

10:35pm Sun 6 Apr 14

lysdexic says...

You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach.
You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach. lysdexic
  • Score: -1

10:16am Mon 7 Apr 14

Bluebeef says...

lysdexic wrote:
You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach.
Well now, there is an interesting thought.
You have to be homophobic to be able to spell...............
....
Lysdexic really does need to examine his sentence structure and punctuation before making any strictures on the writings of others or do I sniffed patrol
[quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach.[/p][/quote]Well now, there is an interesting thought. You have to be homophobic to be able to spell............... .... Lysdexic really does need to examine his sentence structure and punctuation before making any strictures on the writings of others or do I sniffed patrol Bluebeef
  • Score: -1

11:42am Mon 7 Apr 14

welesmere says...

Bluebeef wrote:
lysdexic wrote:
You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach.
Well now, there is an interesting thought.
You have to be homophobic to be able to spell...............

....
Lysdexic really does need to examine his sentence structure and punctuation before making any strictures on the writings of others or do I sniffed patrol
Do I sniffed ??? ...
[quote][p][bold]Bluebeef[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lysdexic[/bold] wrote: You are obviously as ignorant as wippasnappa as you can't differentiate between an obvious typo and and the word witch instead of which. The whole lot of you make me sick to my stomach.[/p][/quote]Well now, there is an interesting thought. You have to be homophobic to be able to spell............... .... Lysdexic really does need to examine his sentence structure and punctuation before making any strictures on the writings of others or do I sniffed patrol[/p][/quote]Do I sniffed ??? ... welesmere
  • Score: 1

10:23pm Mon 7 Apr 14

High Wire says...

Libertarian Patriot wrote:
QUOTING Trimingham: "Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal."

The human race has a history that stretches back around 7-10,000 years. There has always been a "program" that applies universally to all people regardless of ethnicity as there is only one kind of human being. It has always been considered "wrong" to steal, murder or commit adultery whether you follow the teachings of Lao Tzu or Jesus. Likewise, the natural combination for the survival of the species has always been male + female. Exceptions have always existed and probably always will.

"Perfectly normal" will never apply to different forms of behaviour that are the exception to the norm. In a free society such exceptions may be accepted and it seems right that those who are in the exceptional class should not be persecuted if they are not harming others. The homosexual community is different in that relationships deviate from the natural or universal norm. We should not try to eliminate exceptions as eccentricity or choice are the marks of a free society. And free choice, free speech, including speech that may be offense to some, or how to belief, must be respected.

IN a free society a tyranny of sameness and uniformity must be avoided. George Orwell illustrates the point in "1984" where the meaning of language was changed to enforce sameness and uniformity. The only choice left in life was stew with or without salt. In the case of homosexual marriage, there is a danger of making everything the same to enforce uniformity of thought and behaviour. Instead of a diverse society we create the nightmare of "1984." Pity the country decided to try to force sameness by not leaving the option of Civil Partnerships to those of the same sex and marriage as an option for the heterosexual community. Such diversity would fit a free society better than the result which will probably never be settled as long as diversity of opinion exists.

The forced acceptance of deviation from norms, which may also be considered as long standing "traditions," is evidenced by the use of the word "phobia." A phobia is a form of mental disease that can range in seriousness from mild neurosis to severe psychosis. Thus, a person who differs in their opinion about the validity of homosexual marriage may simply disagree which is not a sign of mental disease. Some may never accept the validity of same-sex marriage and in a free and tolerant society such views must be permitted. After all, "thought crimes" are the stuff of "1984." We might also add a caution to the use of the term "bigot" as one person's disagreement or judgement may differ from another's and our Supreme Court has recently ruled that no one has the right not to be offended. We live in a thought driven world and being offended is a hazard of life.

Bottom line: I disagree with the views of the writer of this column because they assume one opinion must be accepted over another. As a libertarian my view is to avoid judgmentalism, either way, and allow for diversity of opinion. We are never going to agree on everything and a tolerant society accepts that fact and gets over it. I hope all will agree to do so on the homosexual marriage issue.

One final thing: "Viva la difference."
Stuff and nonsense. Bottom line : you're not a libertarian, you're a homophobe (which you already know else you wouldn't be trying so hard to deny it).

Vive le bigot...
[quote][p][bold]Libertarian Patriot[/bold] wrote: QUOTING Trimingham: "Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal." The human race has a history that stretches back around 7-10,000 years. There has always been a "program" that applies universally to all people regardless of ethnicity as there is only one kind of human being. It has always been considered "wrong" to steal, murder or commit adultery whether you follow the teachings of Lao Tzu or Jesus. Likewise, the natural combination for the survival of the species has always been male + female. Exceptions have always existed and probably always will. "Perfectly normal" will never apply to different forms of behaviour that are the exception to the norm. In a free society such exceptions may be accepted and it seems right that those who are in the exceptional class should not be persecuted if they are not harming others. The homosexual community is different in that relationships deviate from the natural or universal norm. We should not try to eliminate exceptions as eccentricity or choice are the marks of a free society. And free choice, free speech, including speech that may be offense to some, or how to belief, must be respected. IN a free society a tyranny of sameness and uniformity must be avoided. George Orwell illustrates the point in "1984" where the meaning of language was changed to enforce sameness and uniformity. The only choice left in life was stew with or without salt. In the case of homosexual marriage, there is a danger of making everything the same to enforce uniformity of thought and behaviour. Instead of a diverse society we create the nightmare of "1984." Pity the country decided to try to force sameness by not leaving the option of Civil Partnerships to those of the same sex and marriage as an option for the heterosexual community. Such diversity would fit a free society better than the result which will probably never be settled as long as diversity of opinion exists. The forced acceptance of deviation from norms, which may also be considered as long standing "traditions," is evidenced by the use of the word "phobia." A phobia is a form of mental disease that can range in seriousness from mild neurosis to severe psychosis. Thus, a person who differs in their opinion about the validity of homosexual marriage may simply disagree which is not a sign of mental disease. Some may never accept the validity of same-sex marriage and in a free and tolerant society such views must be permitted. After all, "thought crimes" are the stuff of "1984." We might also add a caution to the use of the term "bigot" as one person's disagreement or judgement may differ from another's and our Supreme Court has recently ruled that no one has the right not to be offended. We live in a thought driven world and being offended is a hazard of life. Bottom line: I disagree with the views of the writer of this column because they assume one opinion must be accepted over another. As a libertarian my view is to avoid judgmentalism, either way, and allow for diversity of opinion. We are never going to agree on everything and a tolerant society accepts that fact and gets over it. I hope all will agree to do so on the homosexual marriage issue. One final thing: "Viva la difference."[/p][/quote]Stuff and nonsense. Bottom line : you're not a libertarian, you're a homophobe (which you already know else you wouldn't be trying so hard to deny it). Vive le bigot... High Wire
  • Score: 3

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