Correspondence relating to the Charter of Homosexual Rights

Scope and Content

Many of these letters come from politicians but there are also letters from academics and journalists. Items of note include:

  • /5: Letter from Margaret Thatcher MP on House of Commons paper, 15 September 1978. Thatcher writes in reply to Dyson and thanks him for sending her the Charter of Homosexual Rights. She states that she voted in favour of the 1967 Act and has said that she "will not make a party matter what should be a question of conscience".
  • /6: Copy letter from Dyson to Thatcher, 31 August 1978. Dyson mentions the evening that Thatcher "gave" Dyson at the Reform Club to discuss educational policy. He states that "my plea for homosexuals is for equality before the law and the right to make personal choices in the light of their own conscience and religious allegiance".
  • /11: Letter from Geoffrey Finsberg MP (1926-1996) to Cliff Tucker dated 8 May 1978. Finsberg writes that he is not happy with all the wording in the booklet [the Charter] but he does believe that the law needs to be changed to end discrimination. He attaches a speech by Margaret Thatcher.
  • /12: Letter from Michael Foot MP (1913-2010) to Cliff Tucker on House of Commons paper, 4 May 1978. Foot says that he "really enjoyed Lena's supper and meeting old friends" and thanks Tucker for the "kind letter and pamphlet".
  • /15: Letter from Jeffrey Weeks of the University of Essex, dated 3 May 1978. He thanks Dyson for the Charter and states that he is seeking to establish a Gay Research Group with his colleague, Ken Plummer. He also writes about his wish to research the development of homosexual subculture 1880-1940 with Mary McIntosh.
  • /16: Letter from John Cartwright MP to Cliff [Tucker] on House of Commons paper dated 15 May 1978. Cartwright writes "[i]t looks very much as though the Thatcher/Whitelaw law and order campaign is going to include a substantial attack on the tolerance which has been shown on such issues over recent years".
  • /17: Letter from William Whitelaw MP (1918-1999) on House of Commons paper, 21 April 1978. He writes "I do not know of any sign that inside the Conservative Party there is a growing backlash against homosexuals as you suggest".
  • /20: Letter from Rhodes Boyson MP on House of Commons paper dated 21 April 1978. He writes that Brian Cox will be visiting the House of Commons that day at 3pm.
  • /29: Letter from Frank Alluan MP (1913-2002) to Cliff Tucker on House of Commons paper, dated 13 July 1978. He writes "I do think that some laws want amending to give equality of treatment to homosexuals and heterosexuals".
  • /41: Letter from Bruce Grocott MP on House of Commons paper, 19 June 1978. He writes that he agrees with a number of objectives of the Charter but not its use of language.
  • /42: Letter from Denis Lemon (1945-1994), Editor of Gay News, dated 18 April 1978. He encloses a copy of his publication (not present) which contains Towards a Charter of Homosexual Rights.
  • /53: Letter from Jo Richardson MP (1923-1994) to Cliff Tucker on House of Commons Paper, dated 12 May 1978. She states that she has informed the Civil Liberties Group of the pamphlet and will also inform NCCL's [National Council for Civil Liberties] Gay Rights Group.
  • /54: Letter from Richard C. Jones of Hartley Victoria Methodist College, Manchester, 25 April 1978. Jones thanks Dyson for sending him a copy of Towards a Charter of Homosexual Rights, states that he was glad to have been a sponsor and congratulates Dyson on his work.
  • /55: Letter from David Jenkinson of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, dated 18 April 1978. Jenkinson states that his Executive Committee have discussed the Charter and seek to know when it will be released so that they can give it publicity.
  • /56: Correspondence with Leonard Barnett and Gordon Moody of The Churches' Council on Gambling, 16-23 March 1978. Moody writes that he cannot add his name to the Charter because he "has not encountered homophobia" and believes that "gay rights campaigning is too unquiet". Also included is Dyson's reply.
  • /57: Letter from Dyson to "Lew", 23 August 1978. He writes that the Manifesto is being printed and the text has been "much improved".
  • /58: Letter from Gerald [Ellison], Bishop of London, 27 February 1978. He mentions the debate in the House of Lords on blasphemy and wishes that "the Anglican Church never becomes associated with the Festival of Light".
  • /65: Letter from Phillip Whitehead M.P. (1937-2005) to Mr [Cliff] Tucker dated 2 July 1978 on House of Commons paper. Whitehead thanks Tucker for the draft copy of the charter and suggests that the Human Rights Parliamentary group looks at it. He also states "it is fascinating to read your reminiscences of West Derbyshire thirty years ago. I was a boy at the time, but of course I remember Norman Gratton's contest".
  • /66: Letter from John Hunt M.P. to Mr [Cliff] Tucker on House of Commons paper dated 21 June 1978. Hunt thanks Tucker for the letter and leaflet. He notes Tucker's concern at "Mr. [Willy] Whitelaw's acceptance to address Mrs. Mary Whitehouse's annual convention, but I do not think this in any way indicates unqualified support for her somewhat eccentric views".