A letter from William Whitlock MP

William Whitlock was Labour MP for Nottingham North. In 1977 Nottingham CHE group began contacting the local MPs. Jack Dunnett (Labour) came along to a CHE group meeting and seemed interested and supportive. Kenneth Clarke was also supportive - he said that he could not understand why the Evening Post refused adverts for Nottingham Gay Switchboard, which was clearly a worthy cause. In addition, he supported lowering the age of consent. Conservative MP Jim Lester was quite helpful in his responses.

The CHE group then wrote to William Whitlock. The reply is printed below.

  21st August 1978

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter of 14th August in which you invite me to meet a group of "gay people" to discuss your allegation that homosexuals are oppressed by the law and by society and to listen to the views of the need for a change in the law.

There would be no point in my meeting you for I have no sympathy for your cause. I did not vote for the Sexual Offences Act 1967 and I am most certainly not in favour of any further relaxation of the law.

It can be argued that those men and women who were born with sexual proclivities which are different from those of most people are in need of sympathy and understanding of those considered to have normal tendencies, but there are too many people around who were not born with that difference and who evilly corrupt others. In this situation, which has, of course always existed, I cannot help feeling that the flaunting of the difference, as is done nowadays by so many "gay" people and "gay" organisations, is not helpful from the point of view of homosexual or the rest of the community.

Most people do not feel the need to parade their sexuality, and those who do must surely be prepared to find that they are looked upon with suspicion by the bulk of the community.

  Yours sincerely,

  William Whitlock.

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