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Popular Topics in The Arts
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In Memoriam
 
In Memoriam: Allan Horsfall (1928-2012)
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 09/01/12
Last updated on: 09/02/12
 
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Allan Horsfall.

British gay rights pioneer Allan Horsfall died on August 31, 2012. One of the founders of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, formed in 1958 to campaign for the implementation of the reforms recommended by the Wolfenden Report, Horsfall has been described by Peter Tatchell as the "grandfather of the gay rights movement."

A Labour Party politician, Horsfall served as Councillor for Nelson, Lancashire between 1958 and 1961. During this period, at considerable risk to his position in the Party, he introduced the local Labour party to the ideas of homosexual law reform. In 1959, he introduced a motion to support the decriminalization of homosexuality.

In 1964, Horsfall founded the Manchester-based North-West Homosexual Law Reform committee. As Sarah Leeves explains in PinkPaper, the Manchester organization was Britain's first grassroots, gay-led campaign group. It grew into a national body in 1969, as the Committee for Homosexual Equality and was renamed again in 1971 as the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE).

Under Horsfall's presidency in the 1970s and 1980s, the CHE grew to be the largest gay rights group in the United Kingdom.

In the videos below, from a November 2006 conference, Horsfall explains the progress of gay rights, especially within the Labour Party.

 
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