Sir Elton John converted his civil partnership solemnised on Dec 21, 2005, with David Furnish into a marriage on Dec 21 this year.
Their 21-year relationship can finally be recognised by the British state.
Elton did try “conventional” marriages twice, and finally came out of the closet after his second divorce in 1988, to say he was “comfortable” being gay.
Rock Hudson, a major Hollywood romantic leading man of the 50s and 60s hid his homosexuality by marrying a studio secretary.
His sexual orientation only became public in 1985 when his gaunt physique became apparent he was very sick.
He died of AIDS-related complications that year.
Sir Elton John converted his civil partnership solemnised on Dec 21, 2005, with David Furnish into a marriage on Dec 21, 2014
And confirmed that Elton John yang kena boh ! :pHudson’s revelation gave tinsel town the impetus for major fund-raising initiatives for research and treatment care.
When too ill to attend a benefit, he sent this message: “I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS.
“But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my misfortune has had some positive worth.”
The Witchcraft Act 1735 was a law passed by Great Britain, which meant that witchcraft was “no longer to be considered a criminal act but rather an offence against the country’s newly ‘enlightened state’”.
The last person executed for witchcraft was in 1727.
This Act made it an offence to claim any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft.
It was a 180-degree reversal of the earlier view.
The penalty for homosexual acts in the British Empire was death (Buggery Act 1533).
It was said that in 1806, more men were executed for homosexual offences than for murder.
By the late 1800s, buggery meant “sexual assault”, even when consensual.
Penalties included imprisonment, hard labour and flogging.
Oscar Wilde (celebrated writer/poet 1854-1900) was sentenced to two years with hard labour under the 1885 Act.
It was only decriminalised in England and Wales under the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
Scotland followed in 1980 and Northern Island in 1982.
The age of consent for gay men was 21, and then lowered to 18 in 1994, and in 2001, to 16.
Many countries have accepted LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender) to serve in the military.
One of the earliest was the Netherlands, in 1974.
Thailand lifted its ban on LBGT in 2005, while Philippines’s ban on gays ended in 2010.
The US tempered with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 1993 as a compromise but the ban on gay service was repealed in 2011.
The UK ended the discrimination in 2000.
Alan Turing (1912-54) was a British pioneering computer scientist who played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages, enabling the Allied forces to defeat the Nazis in several critical battles.
Sir Winston Churchill credited Turing as making the single biggest contribution in Allied victory against Nazi Germany.
He was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952 and accepted chemical castration (to curb his libido) as an alternative to prison.
He committed suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday.
In 2009, following a well-supported campaign, prime minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”.
Turing subsequently received a posthumous pardon in 2013.
There were films, Breaking the Code (1996), Codebreaker (2011) and Imitation Game (2014) and plays, portraying Turing’s life and his work.
In films, many leading men like Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave, Raymond Burr, Montgomery Clift and Anthony Perkins had to be closet gays to avoid prosecution and keep their marketability.
A key tactical manoeuvre during the studio system was to get their stars “married”.
The Kinsey Report (1948) on male sexual behaviour states that four per cent are exclusively homosexual.
The 1953 report on women states that two per cent are exclusively lesbian.
In essence, the reports say it wasn’t an option for them.
The 1961 British film Victim was about homosexuals as victims of blackmail.
It was then deemed too frank and liberal with its open depiction on homosexuality.
The British film censors gave the film an X-rating, while it had an even stronger opposition from the Hollywood Production Code.
What was truly amazing was Dirk Bogarde’s acceptance of the leading role.
The protagonist was a successful barrister, happily married and on course to becoming a Queen’s Counsel.
His character was blackmailed for an “almost” homosexual liaison, together with some other victims, and they fought back!
Bogarde was then arguably the most popular actor in Britain, and a closet homosexual.
It must have exacted immense courage for him to take on the part.
It is plausible he wanted to make a strong statement against the criminality imposed by the Act.
He died in 1999 aged 78.
He was never married and lived together for 40 years with his male manager.
There have been more than sufficient studies to support that homosexuality is not a result of any mental disorder and is non-communicable.
It is certainly not a deviant activity.
While those who cross-dressed suffer from a medical condition known as Gender Identity Disorder, they are not “sick” people.
Just like those suffering from hearing or speech impediments; are neither “deaf” nor “dumb”.
In the earlier centuries through the mid 20th century, laws were enacted based on fear of the unknown and social norms skewed towards puritanism. Human rights were non-existent.
To be different was to be “queer”.
In this 21st century we must endeavour to make corrections, for restitution is nigh impossible.
Mankind has been cruel to fellow mankind for far too long.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online. — Lee Yew Meng The Malay Mail Opinion What You Think DECEMBER 31, 2014 08:38 AM