The Gay Swimming Furore


Of all the Nottingham LGBT related stories which made it into the newspapers, the one which got the most coverage, locally and nationally, was the decision of Nottingham City Council in 1986 to allow gay only swimming sessions.


The Council had set up lesbian and gay sub-committees where issues of concern could be discussed. It was maintained that gay men had been harassed and victimised when they had used sporting facilities in the past, so an alternative was to try gay-only sessions. Swimming was the first suggestion which was tested out.


The adverse publicity was useful in branding the Labour Council as “loony left” and was a factor in the election of the Tories shortly after. The Tories then abolished the lesbian and gay sub-committees, shortly followed by the entire equal opportunities unit.

From Nottingham Evening Post


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