Bolton 7: Candlelit Protest at Westminster

100 Protestors Demand Repeal of Antiquated Antigay Laws

A hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Palace of Westminster at 7 p.m. on 23rd February, to protest at the prosecution of the ‘Bolton 7’ for consensual sex in the privacy of their own homes.

This prosecution, authorised personally by Dame Barbara Mills, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, has been estimated to have wasted half a million pounds of public money.

Terry Connell and Craig Turner with Chris from Stonewall, 56 KB

Although the defendants, convicted in January, escaped prison sentences owing to massive public support, (local, national, and international), they have still been scarred by the traumatic experience.

The protest was organised by Stonewall and supported by OutRage!, who assisted with publicising the event at very short notice.

After the peaceful demonstration, about 60 protestors crammed into a small room inside the Palace, where Angela Mason of Stonewall introduced several speakers:

Dr. Evan Harris, MP, (Lib. Dem.), who

  • stated that the State should have no rôle in people’s bedrooms in victimless situations,
  • drew parallels between the discrimination experienced by lesbians and gay men, and that experienced by ethnic and religious groups,
  • advised that now was the time to press not just for an equal age of consent, but for full equality;

Terry Connell and Craig Turner, (two of the defendants), who

  • acknowledged the enormous efforts of Alan Horsfall and Ray Gosling at the Bolton 7 Defence Campaign in Manchester;

and Peter Tatchell, who

  • exposed the abysmal record of over 30 MP’s who refused even to discuss the case, including two of the three Labour MP’s for Bolton.

OutRage! is supporting and publicising an urgent appeal for donations to help pay for the defence campaign, and for the £ 500 costs awarded against Terry Connell.

Please send your contribution to:

“Bolton 7 Defence Campaign”,
c/o Greater Manchester Lesbian & Gay Policing Initiative,
P.O. Box 100,
M22 4GZ