The Secretary of State for Scotland has allowed an appeal by the Scottish Minorities Group against a decision by Edinburgh District Council which prevented them placing a brass plaque outside their premises in Broughton Street [,Edinburgh].
The plaque bears the words "Scottish Minorities Group, for the rights and welfare of homosexual men and women, national office and information centre." The group based its appeal on the grounds that the district council had exceeded its powers. They claimed that one of the main functions of the centre was to house the group’s advisory and information services which formed an important adjunct to the city’s voluntary welfare services.
Kay Carmichael - insight into China - no divorce, homosexuality unknown speaking at SMG conference at Strathclyde Uni.
BHS is keeping costs under control*[photo of Sir Mark Turner] SHAREHOLDERS at the annual meeting of British Home Stores in London yesterday had first to face demonstrators from the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, protesting at what they regard as the "enforced resignation" of a trainee manager from the Worthing, Sussex, branch of BHS after his appearance on a television documentary on the subject. But they heard the outgoing chairman Sir Mark Turner express his confidence that BHS will maintain its competitive position. He said … results ahead of the national average … As reported last year pre-tax profits last year increased from £18.6m to a record £21.9m.
Mr. Malcolm Rifkind, Conservative MP for Pentland, had written to Mr Ronald King Murray, Lord Advocate of Scotland, urging him to delete a clause from the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill which makes homosexual acts by adults in private illegal. The clause reaffirms the section of an Act of 1885 dealing with homosexuality. The Bill is now before the Lords. When the law was reformed in England and Wales no similar change was made to Scots law. In practice the 1885 Act’s provisions were allowed to lapse and no prosecutions were initiated. Mr Rifkind claimed that if the section were reaffirmed now it would be made difficult for the procurator-fiscal and the police not to carry out their technical requirements under the law. He said it would be possible to delete the clause from the Bill, a consolidation measure, without damaging the remainder. If Mr King Murray felt unable to meet his request, he said he would introduce the necessary amendment with all party support from Scottish MPs when the Bill reached the House of Commons.
By Geoffrey Parkhouse, Our Political Editor. Two Scots Labour MPs supported by an English colleague, threatened last night to vote against the Government on Monday in a Bill dealing with sexual offences in Scotland. Mr Robin Cooke (Central Edinburgh—Lab.) , Mr Norman Buchan (Renfrew West) and Mr Michael Ward (Peterborough) want Scottish law brought into line with English law which permits homosexual acts between consenting adults in private. At a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting at the Commons Mr Cooke claimed the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill retained an older Scottish law while the English law in that respect had been changed. "Although we might have assurances by Ministers that there would not be prosecutions, there is no guarantee there would not be so long as this section remains law," he said. Supported by Mr Buchan and Mr Ward he pointed out that there might be a procedural difficulty on Monday which would cause him and others to vote against the Bill. Mr Ronald King Murray, the Lord Advocate, explained that the form of legislation being discussed on Monday was not appropriate to changing the principle of a law. It was decided that the Lord Advocate and the MPs concerned would meet to discuss the problem.
An all-party group of Scottish MPs are to try to persuade the Government to drop the clause about homosexual acts between adults in private from a Scottish Bill due to have its committee stage in the Commons next week. The Bill itself does not alter the law about such acts which are still illegal in Scotland, unlike England and Wales. It is merely a consolidation Bill … But when the Bill had a second reading, MPs, including Mr Robin Cook (Central Edinburgh—Lab), said that news that the section was to be included had caused alarm among homosexuals in Scotland. The Lord Advocate, Mr Ronald King Murray, stated that it was his policy that no prosecutions should be brought for this offence. Mr Malcolm Rifkind (Pentlands—Con.), argued that it was wrong to include in the measure a law which the Lord Advocate had no intention of enforcing. The critical MPs did not oppose the second reading but Mr Cook and Mr Rifkind, joined by Mr Norman Buchan (Renfrew West—Lab.) and Mrs Margaret Bain (East Dunbartonshire—Scot. Nat.) have signed an amendment to take this provision out of the consolidation Bill. Mr Cook has sought assurances that the Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on the amendment.