Former TUC LGBT officer Peter Purton warns against complacency in the struggle to preserve LGBT rights
Zoe Williams is right to point to increasingly open homophobia around the world (Opinion, 2 July). We are in Pride fortnight, 50 years after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised male homosexuality in parts of Britain. On Saturday, thousands of LGBT people will party at London Pride, mostly believing our fight is won. The massive profile given to Pride’s commercial sponsors – money which ought to be from community or state – promotes the same message.
Our community will only be safe when hate crime and homophobic bullying in schools etc have been banished, which won’t happen while we have hostile politicians such as those in the DUP propping up the May administration. I spent 40 years fighting for LGBT rights and welcome our great progress. But as Williams says, history can move in cycles, and if more in our community don’t wake up to the threats, they may live to regret their complacency.
Dr Peter Purton
TUC LGBT officer 1998-2016, London