Papers relating to homosexual rights and Christianity

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 AED/2/1/2/5
  • Dates of Creation
      7 Mar 1958-29 May 1981
  • Physical Description
      55 pieces Some letters are crumpled

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers relating to homosexual rights and liberal Christian theology. In particular, items relating to Dyson's conference on homosexuality held at Pembroke College Cambridge, 1978 and also his Charter of Homosexual Rights. Items of note include:

  • /1: Letter from Francesca Watt of Forum Press dated 6 September 1978 to the Campaign for Reason (a pressure group established by Dyson and friends). She writes requesting two copies of the Charter for Homosexual Rights as Philip Hodson and Brian Hays 'wish to discuss this on their radio programme'.
  • 2/: Typescript piece of 23 pages by Dyson titled 'Homosexuality: Opinion in Flux'. This is about the history and philosophy of homosexuality and the persecution of homosexuals. Contains a number of manuscript corrections.
  • /8: Letter from Keith Walker of the Department of English, University College London dated 22 August 1978. Walker expresses his horror and disbelief over "the blasphemy trial" [a reference to the prosecution of Gay News for publishing a poem describing a Roman centurion's homosexual love for the crucified Christ]. He states that Frank Kermode told him of Dyson's upset at the publication because "the poem really was blasphemous, and disgusting, and feeble".
  • /19: Issue of the periodical Open Church Group: An Interdenominational Fellowship for the Dignity of Gay Christians, no. 12, Summer 1978.
  • /20: Letter from Rev. Anthony Duncan dated 23 October 1976. Duncan expresses his appreciation of Dyson's report in The Christian concerning the Festival of Light movement and states "I do think the whole sexual scene could do with the kind of informed discussion that your hoped-for new journal might provide". He encloses a poem called 'The Dance' about heterosexual love. There is also a copy letter reply from Dyson dated 2 Jan 1977.
  • /23: Leaflet, 'Homosexuality and evangelical homosexual and heterosexual Christians' published by Third Way.
  • /24: Draft promotional information about the Viva Trust with corrections.
  • /26: Results of a questionnaire,'Young People's Attitudes to Sex and Homosexuality' produced by NOP comparing answers given in 1967 and 1978.
  • /29: 'Gay Peoples Charter: A declaration of the rights of homosexual men and women', Edinburgh, 1978.
  • /34: Photocopy of an open letter sent to The Times with signatories, calling for homosexual law reform, dated 7 March 1958.
  • /35: Copy letter to 'Robert' from Dyson dated 4 May 1981. Dyson explains the ill health he has been suffering from in connection with his jaw and mentions his and Tucker's wish to stand down as trustees of the Viva Trust. He also muses over merging the Viva trust with the Albany Trust.
  • /39: Copy letter to Claire Rayner (1931-2010) from Dyson dated 16 May 1981. Dyson writes about Rayner's support for the Campaign for Reason document in 1978 and asks that the [Viva] Trust is used by Rayner to refer people to in her role as agony aunt.
  • /44: Jubilee Group Discussion Paper: 'Is there a new religious fascism?' Ken Leech, circa 1978.
  • /45: Letter from Claire Rayner to Dyson dated 29 May 1981 stating that she would be delighted to add the Viva [Trust] to "my list of referral agencies" in her role as agony aunt of the Sunday Mirror.
  • /49: Letter from John, Bishop of Gloucester, to Dyson discussing theology and a copy letter reply from Dyson in which he explains at length his personal theology (4 pages).
  • /51 Information on the Centre du Christ Liberateur for sexual minorities in Paris, France.
  • /52: List of organisations representing homosexuals.
  • /54: List of resources for homosexuals.
  • /55: Letter from Marjorie Proops (1911-1996) dated 7 May 1981 stating that she will refer her readers to Dyson's address in her role as agony aunt for the Daily Mirror.

Access Information

/5 and /16 are closed.