Remembering Matthew Shepard 

(December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998)

Mathew Shepard died on October 12th, 1998 at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado – six days after a homophobic attack that took place on October 6th, 1998 – and left to die at Laramie, with heavy brain injuries in Wyoming, U.S.A. His injuries were so severe that the gentleman who discovered Sheppard mistook him for a Scarecrow at first glance.

No one should ever suffer at the hands of another human being in such a horrific way, despite anyone’s own personal beliefs. His tragic murder serves to remind us of the importance of tolerance, acceptance and equality for everyone.

The event shook America and the world.

Fred Phelps showing his hatred towards the LGBTcommunity at Mathew’s funeral.

Sadly, some Christian groups thought it was appropriate to protest at the funeral of Shepard. Why some groups think that this is normal behaviour for Christians is beyond most people. All these protests did was show the world the importance of fighting against anti LGBT sentiment.

His murder brought international coverage and led to hate crime laws in many countries. On October 28th, 2009, President Obama signed legislation into U.S law. The act is called, Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (commonly known as the “Matthew Shepard Act” or “Shepard/Byrd Act” for short).

In 2010, a similar law was granted by the UK parliament which now protects many minorities – although campaigns are still running to include the addition of hate crimes against women.

Mathew Shepard’s parents have long campaigned for LGBT rights in order to honour their son’s life and aspirations. They set up the foundation to teach parents whose children who may be questioning their sexuality, to love and accept them for who they are. Something we all need to aspire to.

https://www.matthewshepard.org

Imagine the bravery of his parents to continue fighting for the rights of others after losing their son!

Stonewall: 06.28.67

​By @dtpjustin

Remembering the Fight. 

As hundreds of thousands of members of the LGBTQ+ community take to the streets in June, celebrating Pride Month across the country, and around the world, it’s important to reflect on the history behind these celebrations. Widely regarded as the turning point and inspiration for the modern-day equality battle, no single event was more pivotal for the community, than the events that unfolded in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York, at the Stonewall Inn.

Above: The exterior of the Stonewall Inn, the centerpiece of the riots on June 28, 1969. 

The Stonewall Inn, owned by the Genovese crime family, was the only bar for gay men in New York City, where dancing was allowed. The bar had no fire exits, no running water behind the bar, and no liquor license, but due to its mix of ages, races, sexualities, and gender identities, it was known by many as “the gay bar in the city”. Attending the Stonewall Inn required meeting a bouncer at the door, who inspected patrons through a peephole, to avoid letting in undercover police. To be granted admission, patrons had to be known by the doorman, or “look gay”. Customers paid a $3 entry fee, which entitled them to two tickets that could be exchanged for drinks. The employees at Stonewall used a light system to alert patrons that police were spotted outside. Immediately the regular, overhead lights would be turned on to signal that everyone should stop dancing or touching.

Above: For five days after the initial riot occurred, protests spilled into the streets, with crowds of hundreds and sometimes thousands of members of the community. 

Police raids were quite common of these underground LGBTQ establishments. The bar owners typically paid off the cops to limit the raids to occurring early in the evening, so that business could start up again once it was completed. The owners usually knew about the raids from people that would tip them off that something was going to happen. What transpired around 1:20am on Saturday, June 28, 1969 was something that nobody could have predicted.

Earlier in the evening, 4 undercover police officers entered Stonewall to observe the activities, while the Public Morals Squad waited outside. Once inside, the officers used the bar’s payphone to call for backup. Music was stopped and the overhead lights were turned on. Typically, during a raid, the police would line up all the patrons, check identification, and anybody dressed as a woman was taken to the bathroom to verify their sex. However, this night wasn’t like the rest. People refused to go to the bathrooms to be inspected, and men in line began to refuse to show their identification. The police decided that everyone still inside the bar was going to be brought down to the police station. The patrons that had managed to escape at the beginning of the raid, instead of going immediately home, began to congregate outside. In just a few short minutes, the crowd grew to 100-150 people.

Above: One year after the Stonewall Riots, the community organized the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day, recognized as the first Gay Pride march in the United States (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

 The crowd grew restless outside, as rumors of police beating patrons still inside the bar began to swirl. According to bystanders, a woman was being escorted from the bar in handcuffs. She escaped multiple times, fought with the officers, and had been hit on the head with a baton for complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. Her identity remains unconfirmed, however witnesses recall her looking at the crowd of people, and shouting “Why don’t you guys do something?” It was at this moment that the group, which now numbered upwards of 500 people, turned into an enraged mob.

Ten police officers, and several handcuffed patrons, attempted to barricade themselves inside Stonewall for their safety. The crowd began throwing anything they could find at the building, lighting garbage on fire and putting it through the broken windows. The crowd also uprooted a parking meter to use as a battering ram on the doors of Stonewall. After 45 minutes, the fire department and riot squad arrived to rescue those inside Stonewall and to disperse the crowd. The protests continued on Christopher Street and in nearby Christopher Street Park for five more days. All 3 major New York newspapers covered the protests, which sometimes numbered in the thousands, after accounts of the riots were published.
After the riots, many members of the community who previously felt that they had no voice, now felt empowered. The creation of many LGBTQ organizations sprouted as a result of this new era of feeling. Among them, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA). In addition, within months, 3 newspapers specifically targeted to the community were created in the city, after The Village Voice, refused to print the word “gay” in GLF advertisements. The first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots was recognized as Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 with an assembly outside, as well as other marches in Los Angeles and Chicago, showcasing the first Gay Pride marches in the United States.

Above: After the horrific Pulse massacre shooting in Orlando, Florida, many people visited the Stonewall Inn to honor the victims, just weeks before President Obama made his National Monument designation. (Photo courtesy of NPR)

On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama officially designated the Stonewall National Monument, the United States’ first National Monument specifically created as an LGBTQ historic site. The National Monument status is 7.7 acres, including the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Street Park, and the block of Christopher Street that borders the park. In his announcement of the designation, President Obama stated, “…Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us…”

While June is a month of celebration of for members of our community, it’s imperative to remember the brothers and sisters that were fed up with the current state of affairs and took to the streets, acting as the catalyst that launched LGBTQ discrimination into the mainstream. Let us never forget the courage and bravery that they demonstrated, to help us fight for the equality that we deserve.

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 


Signs and symbols: lesbian

By @pridematters1

In this series we look at signs and symbols that are associated with parts of the LGBTQIA+ Community. 

The Labrys 

The Labrys is also known as the double-bladed axe, and is from the Minoan Crete civilisation – a civilisation that is often portrayed as matriarchal. Since then, however, it has been used in more recent times to represent lesbian and feminism.
It has been used as its symbol since the 70s. Some women have it tattooed on their inner wrist, or as a pendant. 


In late Victorian times, when the use of term “Lesbian” was emerging, it was likely that if you were a gay or bisexual woman you may have given violets to the woman you love or have feelings for. This most likely comes from poetry that ancient Greek poet Sappho wrote:

“If you forget me, think of our gifts to Aphrodite and all the loveliness that we shared. 

All the Violet tiaras braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around your neck.”

The Greek island of Lebnos gives its name to gay females in honour of Sappho. Further, if you open a dictionary you will find the term Sapphonism which is an alternative to Lesbianism. A word that has now died away, similar to the gift of violets. 

There is a flag designed especially for women who identify as lesbian and feel they are grossly misunderstood because of stereotyping. Although little is known about its origins it is thought to have originated from a blog called This Lesbian Life.

The flag was born out of frustration of people disbelieving that they couldn’t be a lesbian because they were far to effeminate. To many, the flag stands for visibility of diversity, and educates the ignorance many within the LGBTQIA+ Community often feel. 

pictogram or “glyph” has been used to represent male and female genders since the 50s. In the 60s they were often seen on public toilets. As the LGBTQIA+ Community rose symbols were created to represent varying groups. The female pictogram represents Venus and so two adjoining of the same represents female homosexuality.

First kiss!

By @pridematters1

There has been a few misunderstanding on the first kisses of the LGBTQIA community on British TV over the years. 

The first kiss was earlier than most people believe. It was actually in 1974.


Above: It was thought the film was lost forever but in 2016 an enhanced copy was released. BBC’s policy in the 1970’s was to destroy any film after being aired. 

The thirty minute drama was called Girl and was a love story between two female members of the armed forces. The kiss was between a young  Alison Steadman and Myra Francis.

Above: A more recent photo of Alison Steadman. Most will recognise her from the comedy series Gavin and Stacey.

Above: The daughter of Winston Churchill, Baroness Soames.

The radio times (the BBC’s official magazine and a leading magazine at the time) received many letters of complaints at the time, however one letter that stood out was one of ‘reassurance’ from Baroness Soames.

“I can assure any reader that where these cases do exist they are speedily dealt with and the girls concerned are discharged.”

Using the eyes and heads of someone in 2018 where the world is completely different we can easily see the anti lgbt sentiment in these comments. We need to be aware that this was only seven years after homosexual acts between men was decriminalised, although female acts were never illegal the climate was always negative and both sexes would have been dishonorably discharged from all of the British armed forces. Only in 2000 gay men and women could serve in the armed forces.

Almost ninety percent of the population believed homosexuality was a mental illness.

As a side note: In 1986 the first male gay kiss was seen on the BBC Soap Eastenders.

The first lesbian kiss in a Soap is always confused as being the first but it wasn’t. This kiss has a great deal of historic significance and not just in the UK.


Above: Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson kissed in front of six million viewers in January 1994.
Anna Friel’s, charater, Beth faced many obstacles in the Liverpool based Soap, including domestic abuse. However one scene has found itself in LGBT history in the UK and on a global scale too. The kiss was also the first lesbian kiss pre-watershed* and in a Soap.

Danny Boyle was aware of its significance in British history and decided to include it in a quick montage of screen kisses in the middle of his now famous opening ceremony at the London Olympics in 2012. Despite the speed of the scene it became the first gay kiss in many countries across the world, including many that homosexuality is illegal.

Crafty move of Mr Boyle.

* UK broadcasting laws are designed to prevent any scene to be broadcasted on TV that is seen as harmful towards children. Pre watershed is before 9pm.
Interesting links:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/jun/16/bbc-stream-1974-show-girl-alison-steadman-first-lesbian-kiss-uk-television-pride

http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/680336/Television-first-lesbian-kiss-Alison-Steadman-Girl-BBC-Pride-festival

http://80sactual.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/eastenders-colin-and-barry-gays-in.html?m=1

http://www.afterellen.com/tv/102520-the-london-olympics-opening-ceremony-includes-a-lesbian-kiss-seen-around-the-world

What do Pride events mean to me!

By @pridematters1

Have you ever sat down and thought what Pride events mean to yourself and others? Why do they exist? Where they born out of the want to ‘party’ or the need to live, rather than exist.
Most of us will go to Gay Pride events this summer. If you do, take a look around and see the expressions on everyone’s faces, the carnival atmosphere, the joy and laughter. Even the police on duty are often enjoying the day.
Fifty years ago in the UK Gay Pride events would have seemed alien. Back then homosexuality was illegal, and ninety-three percent of the country believed it was a mental illness. Gay and bisexual men were considered criminals, if not prosecuted in court, many were blackmailed.

In 1967 homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales, but far from on equal terms. By 1969 The Stonewall Riots in New York changed the attitudes in the ‘gay community’ of the day into doing something about the fight for equality in both America and Britain, along with other countries globally.

Above: The light filters at London Pride in 2016

The first significant march here was in London, July 1st 1972, the closest Saturday to the anerversary of The Stonewall Riots. Two thousand people turned up. The police were in heavy numbers, some protesters had Banners that showed the mood of the day within the gay community. ‘The Gays are revolting’, messages in regards to public displays of affection, among others. 
Each year the marches increased in size and by the 1980s they became even more focused politically, fighting against Section 28, policies on HIV and AIDS. Even today London Pride, prides itself on sending a political message.
Gay Pride events of today weren’t born, they emerged out of the fight for equality and freedoms we now take for granted. To kiss in the streets or sleep with another man in a hotel room was technically illegal until the early part of the twenty-first century, without the marches we may not have had such progression. Without the marches we wouldn’t have been so visible. In America many groups began through rendezvous at early marches. 

I feel an overwhelming sense of emotion when marching next to someone, feeling like you are a part of something making a difference in a very small way, to be counted and visible in making the difference gives me great joy. For me it’s not about dressing up in high heels and a dress, and expressing myself in this regard, although I don’t condemn anyone who wishes to do so (it adds to the diversity and colour). It is about making change and standing with those equal to you, and changing the world one step at a time, freeing your gender and sexuality from the restraints of society. Being noticed, not as an individual but a collective. 
In the late 1980s I saw the Gay Pride march in London on a news program. As a questioning teen it made me feel less isolated. People like me existed. Imagine the impact these events have on the questioning teens of today. The sense of belonging, even for the ones among us who aren’t ready to venture to such events.
Over the years the community has welcomed other sexualities and genders to join them, making them stronger, not only for Pride but for the fight for better understanding.
Last year America raised a rainbow coloured flag on equal marriage at the start of Pride weekend in many cities around the world, including London. Sending that message of unity to the lgbt family around the world, shouting loudly to the homophobes that we are fighting for equality and helping the homo-unaware to be more aware. Changing attitudes and accepting more diverse views too. 
At one point in America, in the seventies some marches were called freedom parades. Personally that title is still relevant. 
Take a look around and see the freedom, acceptance, and the achievement of our rainbow family, and ask yourself what Pride means to you. Be proud of whatever the next political campaign is, and be proud we all can be a part of that. Note the diversity around us; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, pansexuals and the transgender community (both male and female). Be aware of everyone, including the intersex and asexual part of the family, as well as the sub-groups too; twinks, bears, muscle Marys, all of them. If you look around, even closer you will noticed the allies and the families too. Accept them for who they are, like those LGBT pioneers that marched for equality and acceptance. We can all continue the fight too as that is exactly what Gay Pride means above all for me…. 

Acceptance! 

First published in prowler magazine 2016

How the ‘gay community’ was affected by the laws surrounding them in the latter part of the 20th century. 

​​By @pridematters1 

Combined with the Public Order Act: 1986 and the Sexual Offences Act: 1967. Many gay and bisexual men found themselves being prosecuted for simply kissing their partners in the street.
The 1967 act was far from equal. The age of consent was twenty one, which meant young same sex lovers could never feel comfortable showing their affection towards their partner if they were in a heterosexual relationship with someone the same age.

Above: The early marches were more about equality and fighting for simple rights, including education. 

I personally recall a friend had received a prison sentence because his partner was twenty, he was twenty five. If he was in a heterosexual relationship cases like this wouldn’t have happened. Imagine the mental stress this would put on young gay couples. It was common for disapproving parents to threaten going to the police because the younger was nineteen or twenty and the older in their early twenties.. 

Above: Many things we take for granted didn’t exist back in the 70s and 80s. The #lgbtqia  acronym was just beginning it’s process of evolution and the term ‘gay community’ was used. 

Attitudes brought on more chaos, with the fear of the Aids epidemic and the governments stance on education in schools and colleges. Soon Section 28 came into play and lasted till 2000. This meant that education about homosexual relationships didn’t start till much later. There is also evidence that to begin with there was confusion of what could be taught and therefore making the delay much longer. 

Phobic views were rift in parliament but the then, so called ‘gay comuinity’, fought hard against in the late eighties through to nowadays.

Above: a newspaper clipping from this period, showing that prosecutions of young gay and bisexual were taken to court for simply doing something a heterosexual couple would have taken for granted.

Without the advent of gay right groups such as Stonewall UK and individuals such as Peter Tatchell we wouldn’t have such equality we experience in the UK today. 

We have alot to thank for these pioneers that paved the way for the much better equality we have today. Although I am certain the likes of Tatchell or Cashman would scream at us…… 

It’s not over yet! 
Here are a few articles about the early years you may enjoy.

The fight for equality in the age of consent in the UK:

http://wp.me/p78BZ8-14Y

Section 28 –  A Brief look:
http://wp.me/p78BZ8-a6Section

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 


Sexual Offences Act 1967

By @_AlexandraClare

 The Sexual Offences Act and perceptions of homosexual relationships at the time when homosexual acts were decriminalised.

 If you wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the legalisation of homosexual acts in the UK, you have a broad choice of dates, depending on factors like where you live, whether you are in the armed services and your age. 

The obvious place to start is 1967, a nice round number of an anniversary and, on paper, a huge step forward because, for the first time since 1885, homosexual acts between men were decriminalised. The Sexual Offences act had taken ten years to make it through parliament following a recommendation from a committee chaired by Lord Wolfenden (which itself had taken three years to produce its report). The legislation applied only to England and Wales and the definitions in the act were strictly drawn: to be considered legal, men had to be over twenty-one, consenting and the acts had to take place in a private place. The act even went into detail as to what this meant:

An act which would otherwise be treated for the purposes of this Act as being done in private shall not be so treated if done- 

(a) when more than two persons take part or are present; 

or (b) in a lavatory to which the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise

Above:Lord Arran.  

Although getting the bill passed was seen as an achievement, the act’s supporters pleaded for discretion. During the bill’s second reading in the Lords, Lord Arran said:

I ask those who have, as it were, been in bondage and for whom the prison doors are now open to show their thanks by comporting themselves quietly and with dignity. Homosexuals must continue to remember that while there may be nothing bad in being a homosexual, there is certainly nothing good. Lest the opponents of the Bill think that a new freedom, a new privileged class, has been created, let me remind them that no amount of legislation will prevent homosexuals from being the subject of dislike and derision, or at best of pity. We shall always, I fear, resent the odd man out. That is their burden for all time, and they must shoulder it like men—for men they are.
The News of the World described the new law as ‘a blot on the country’ and a ‘charter for corruption’.

The act left a lot of potential for both heavy-handed application and active entrapment. A third person being ‘present’ was interpreted as someone else being in the same house or even when the couple were in a shared building, such as a hotel. While allowing private acts, the act toughened penalties for public offences, including Gross Indecency, an offence that only applied to gay men. This criminalised soliciting, which was interpreted as including chatting people up, so even making an arranging to meet for sex in private could be considered criminal if the parties were in public. Convictions for homosexual offences increased after the act, only peaking in 1989.

Lord Arran also commented that 

This is no occasion for jubilation; certainly not for celebration. 

History has proved him wrong. While the act was limited in its scope, it was a milestone. There is an argument that the anger generated by the compromises needed to get the bill passed contributed to the formation of pressure groups in the early seventies, along with the events in America that fueled campaigns in the UK,  all pushing the fight for equality. In the fifty years since the bill, areas of legal discrimination have been chipped away, step by step and that is indeed something to celebrate.

Alex Clare is the author of crime novel He’s Gone, featuring DI Robyn Bailley, a trans woman.

Follow Alex on twitter at @_AlexandraClare 
Other related articles about this time period.



An insight in the 1967 act and other laws gay and bisexual men had to face in this time period.

http://wp.me/p78BZ8-q0

A good article on the Labouchere Amendment and the man behind it is

wp.me/p78BZ8-4r

Another good article  explaining previous laws and why it led to the Labouchere Amendment, The Offences against the Person Act 1861

wp.me/p78BZ8-lt 

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 


Cleveland Street Brothel scandal and Queen Victoria’s oldest Grandson.

​In the late 1800’s one of the biggest same sex scandals rocked society since the Molly Houses almost a century prior. It even concerned Queen Victoria’s oldest grandson.

The scandal was regarding a male brothel.

The story broke in 1889 and intriguied the media both here and abroad, destroying many involved.

The investigation in the Cleveland Street brothel began in July 1889.

Constable Lake Hanks was investigating into a theft at the London Central telegraph office.

One telegraph  boy was discovered with a large amount of money on his person. This was unusual because his employer: The post office.  Charles Thomas Swincow, the telegraph boy in question admitted that he earnt the money working as a male prostitute.

The investigation led to further telegraph boys being investigated. By the time it was fully investigated the brothel was locked up and the owner had already left. 

Albert Victor Christian Edward, known affectionately as Eddy was the heir to the British throne and was subjected to the Cleveland Street scandal and his personal life questioned after the raid.

Although none of the male prostitutes named Eddy as a client there appeared to be a great deal of talk that suggested he was frequently at Cleveland Street.

Eddy’s father, the then Prince of Wales is said to have intervened and Eddy was never even interviewed. The scandal did taint the Princes image.
Sir Russell QC was employed to oversea proceedings, keeping details from getting into the English newspapers, although the Welsh and overseas papers did name the Prince. Never naming Eddy in the papers here caused a political backlash.
There was also rumours with links to the ‘Jack the Ripper’ stories, although proven unfounded  due to his location at the time of the attacks. Eddy was in Baromal at the time. These investigations were not disclosed by Scotland Yard until the 1960s.

The Prince died before becoming sovereign.

The royal household was further implemented with an equerry of The Prince of Wales also being investigated. However,  Lord Arthur Somerset, the equerry who appeared to have had connections along with the brothel keeper both fled abroad. 

Majority of the patrons and male prostitutes escaped light or no procections. One client even successfully sued the press for liable.

This was a time when any act of homosexuality had became punishable with two years hard labour only a few years prior. Previous to this it was only the act of buggery that was technically a criminal offence.

​The Buggery act:1533 

The Origins of a Tudor Law used against gay men globally today.

In early Tudor times a new law came into power that even to this day affects some countries of the world. It originally was called An Acte for the punishment of the vice of Buggerie.

So what were the reasons behind the Act in the first place? 

Was it political, or something that was truly required at the time?

There is nothing to suggest that prior to the 1533 Act, there were many issues with same-sex relationships in society. The issues appear to be more about power or revenge. There were few incidences, mainly because of religious dogma, however, generally same-sex relationships were “tolerated” or people simply turned a blind eye. This begs the question, why instate such a parliamentary Act?

When first instated it was not so much homophobic, but targeted all forms of sodomy, man, woman, or beast. Bestiality was later removed from this Act. Any offenders who were convicted would be put to death, lose any possessions to pass onto their benefactors, and would not be allowed access to clergy.

The Act also states that no one would be exempted including priests and monks. This was unusual at this point in history.

It was first instated on a one year temporary basis, being brought back in 1536, 1539 and 1541 until it was made a permanent law in 1541.In 1542 the Act was extended to Wales. However, within Tudor times it was hardly used and there are only a handful of instances on record of anyone being charged under this Act during the next 100 years.

This wasn’t the first of its kind. Other acts had been used elsewhere in Europe, often to seize the accused assets and to bring humiliation on the accuser’s enemy. The Knights Templar were known to be tortured by King Philip of France using a similar act 200 years previous, something that would have been known by the Tudor king.

Henry 8th desperately wished to break away from the Catholic Church. In the eyes of the church he was still married to Catherine of Aragon. The Pope refused the marriage to be annulled, however he had secretly married Anne Boleyn who was about to give birth to Henry’s second child, Elizabeth.

If the unborn child was born out of wedlock it would not have a legitimate entitlement to the crown. It is easy to understand that Henry needed to act quickly, forming The Church of England.

Separating from Rome was not that easy, many opposed it, and so Henry’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell was given the ruthless task of Reformation, imposing Henry’s power over Rome on England. It is suggested by some historians that by using Thomas Cromwell to pilot the Buggery Act 1533 it could be used as a tool to humiliate Henry’s political opposition if required.

As they had so much power the monasteries were Henry’s biggest problem. The Catholic Church owned thirty percent of land in England. Cromwell also acted on this. Many monks are known to have been tortured with forced “confessions” made, and ultimately executed. Henry sold off the monasteries to the wealthy for a profitable income. 

It wasn’t until 28 July 1540 when the first man was executed for buggery; Walter Hungerford. He was in favour of the Catholic resistance.

The buggery charge was probably added to the list of crimes for humiliation, also to seize his assets warding off other sympathizers, like previously with the Knights Templar. 

Thomas Cromwell was also executed on the very same day for treason and heresy. 

Furthermore, many believe the Act was political as the headmaster of Eton College, Nicholas Udall, admitted to abusing his students. He was sentenced to execution, yet later it was reduced to imprisonment, after his release he became headmaster at Westminster school.

There was no law for age of consent at this time. The only law that was in existence for sexual conduct was for adultery. When laws were placed much later it was twelve years old for consensual heterosexual intercourse. 

After Henry’s death the Crown was passed over to his ten year old son Edward 6th. Immediately he repealed all the felonies created by Henry. However in 1548 Edward reinstated the law, with an amendment that stated the defendant’s property would not be forfeited.

After Edwards’s death, his older sister Mary 1st, the daughter of Catholic Catherine of Aragon revoked all laws that she deemed “anti-Catholic” and began to crush the protestant church in England. When Mary died, Queen Elizabeth 1st ascended to the throne. Elizabeth reinstated the 1533 Act with no amendments. Elizabeth had been raised as a part of a Protestant household.

There is little written evidence to suggest that the Act was used much until Georgian times. Between 1806 and 1861 until the death sentence was lifted over 400 men had been sentenced. This Act was implemented into the law of all British Colonies, affecting a third of the world, making it recognizable why most of the world’s anti-gay laws exist in The British Commonwealth.

Even if you are still unsure that the intention of the original Act was for nothing more than political gain, one thing is for certain, this law is responsible for many homophobic regulations that are still around globally to this today.

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