Thursday, 10 January 2008

51 - Church Outing 1987 (part 1)

The first mass outing of gay clergy in the Church of England came from conservative elements from within. Possibly, because they felt homosexuality was morally wrong, or that homosexuality was fundamentally unnatural and disgusting, or just possibly that homosexuals constituted a large enough clique wihin the organisation that they were therefore a powerbase, and so this frontal attack was a way to make the way clearer for certain young thrusters.
A young Evangelical, Tony Higton, put forward a motion condemning homosexuality in the church of England, and also made statements as to the pervasion of homosexuals through the Church. His motion gained popularity throughout the summer and autumn to become the issue when the General Synod would convene in November 1987

Zoke (Michael Attwell) in “News of the World”, 12 July 1987
An early effort from when newspapers weren’t sure which way the wind was going to blow on the debate. Besides, the Royal marriage was getting into a frightful mess already and made for much more obvious material. Then again, the “News of the World has always been bitterly homophobic, so it really wasn’t likely to miss an opportunity. It is, however, a surprising forthright representation of what homosexuality actually means.

Mac (Stan McMurtry) in “Daily Mail”, 23 October 1987
At then end of Anglican services the vicar usually waits outside the cathedral to shake the hands of his parishioners. (The Kiss of Peace is Catholic, otherwise, who knows what the cartoonists would have run to).

Jak (Raymond Jackson) in “Evening Standard”, 23 October 1987
Again, the recourse to transvestism, although note how the pipe sets off the stockings. A surprisingly detailed background, and don’t forget to look at the stained glass window on the far right

Mac (Stan McMurtry) in “Daily Mail”, 27 October 198
The right wing, both the newspapers and politicians, were rather sick of being admonished by holier than thou liberal clergy. Homosexuality was a jolly useful stick to beat them off with. See how Mac offers us the same strange transvestite person as #23

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