‘The oldest gay in the village’ absent from Brighton Pride to have anti-gay conviction overturned
As over 200,000 take to the streets of Brighton for its annual Pride parade, one person was much missed from the festivities.
George Montague, who usually attends Pride with a banner on his mobility scooter reading “The Oldest Gay in the Village”, was absent from the event today.
The 93-year-old has started a petition for an apology from the Government for his gross indecency conviction he has lived with for 42 years.
The petition calls on the Government not to issue a pardon or to overturn the convictions, but simply to apologise for the atrocity.
Montague was forced to resign from the boy scouts in 1974, when he was arrested for gross indecency.
He writes: “In 1974, as a senior commissioner in the Boy Scout Association running camps for severely physically disabled boys from six southern counties in the UK. I was forced to resign. Under Gross Indecency law, we were arrested and charged enthusiastically by homophobic police, assisted by provocateurs and informers. If BORN, only able to be “in love” with another man, you were guilty. I and 49,000 others still have criminal convictions. I am partitioning for an APOLOGY from this government on behalf of their predecessors. Some of them are still alive, often asleep in the House of Lords @ £300 per day, for refusing to accept the fact that BEING HOMOSEXUAL IS NOT A CHOICE. We agree any indecency of a sexual nature IN PUBLIC should still be an offence BUT our “
“I am partitioning for an APOLOGY from this government on behalf of their predecessors. Some of them are still alive, often asleep in the House of Lords @ £300 per day, for refusing to accept the fact that BEING HOMOSEXUAL IS NOT A CHOICE. We agree any indecency of a sexual nature IN PUBLIC should still be an offence BUT our “offences” were in “PRIVATE”. We don’t want pardons, for that admits guilt (Alan Turin), PLEASE Prime Minister, may we have an apology before I die. George Montague 93 years old. Author of ‘The Oldest Gay In The Village’.”
Mr Montague will still have a chance to have a drink with Pride-goers, at the St James’s Street Party.
His petition has over 2,000 signatures but he hopes to gain many more.
The Conservative Party last year in its election manifesto pledged to extend pardons to gay men convicted of historic sex offences.
Earlier this year, relatives of gay codebreaker Alan Turing delivered a petition to Downing Street last week calling for the 49,000 men convicted under anti-gay laws to be pardoned – after Turing received a one-off pardon in 2011.