“My terror” – newspaper coverage of Charlie Beaton’s testimony to the Labour Party Conference, 1985

 
A newspaper article about Charlie Beaton's testimony to the Labour Party Conference

Transcription: THE “terror” of being a gay man in Britain was outlined to delegates by Bristol South’s Mr Charlie Beaton today. Mr Beaton, Avon social worker, supporting a motion calling for the outlawing of discrimination against homosexuals, said that one in ten of the population was suffering for being gay. The resolution was passed against the advice of Labour’s national executive by nearly 3.4 million votes to 2.8 million. “I am terrified standing here before you, not by being on the platform, but being a gay man,” Mr Beaton told the conference. “Even here, among socialists, I am terrified. We suffer terrible attacks wherever we go.” Turning to the virus Aids, Mr Beaton said: “Gay men are the victims, not the perpetrators of this terrible disease.” He urged the conference to pass the resolution, which called among other things for all discrimination in housing and child care cases by the police to be outlawed. “Hundreds of thousands of lesbians and gay men are waiting for this party’s lead,” he said. Miss Jo Richardson, replying for the national executive, said a future Labour government would outlaw discrimination in many forms, but warned that changing the age of consent would cause problems.

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