CAGS started as a group within the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE)
and had a mix of campaigning and social events right from the start
Today, with many of the original aims of CHE achieved, at least in this
country, we're predominantly a social group, but we do still campaign on both
local and national issues from time to time.
Changes to the Equality Act
In August 2012, CAGS put forward a submission regarding
proposed changes to the Equality Act, and also encouraged its members to
See the text of our response on the enforcement provisions and on third party harassment.
Equal marriage consultation
In 2012, the Government instituted a consultation on
extending civil marriage to same-sex couples. CAGS, in conjunction with CHE
(Campaign for Homosexual Equality), issued guidance notes for its members: note
telling them how to answer, but giving some points to think about.
You can download the guidance document from www.c-h-e.org.uk/pdfs/marriage.pdf.
You can also view CAGS's own
submission to the consultation.
For the background to the equal marriage issue, see the
"marriage equality" page on the LGBT UK History Wiki.
IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) is
celebrated on 17th May each year. For IDAHO 2012, CAGS held two successful
morning Ray Harvey-Amer gave an oration congratulating the Queen on her
Jubilee, looking back to Queen Victoria’s reign (we’d adorned the base of
her statue with rainbow flags) and highlighting the 40 Commonwealth Countries
that still criminalise gay sex; Ross Burgess (pictured) read out and then
posted a letter to the Queen; and Croydon Community Choir led us in the
In the evening we held a panel debate on the issues raised by the Home
Office consultation on equal marriage at the Unitarian Church, skilfully
chaired by Rev Art Lester.
See our press release for
more details about both events, with more pictures.
You can also download the programme
for the morning's event, and the
letter to the Queen.
Shooshh incident 2011
>Early on Sunday morning, 4th December,2011, two gay men were removed
from Shooshh nightclub on Crown Hill, Croydon, in what was reported
in the press as possible anti-gay discrimination. CAGS has now spoken at
length to one of the two gay men involved. He insists that he loves Shooshh and
goes there every Saturday night: it's his favourite venue, very welcoming and
the place he feels comfortable. He strongly rejects any suggestion that the
incident was homophobic. CAGS is pleased that the matter has been clarified
General Election 2010
CAGS, in conjunction with CHE, organised a campaign of
writing to General Election candidates in Croydon and surrounding areas, to ask
their views about matters of concern to LGBT people.
See also our
In advance of the meeting, we had allocated one of our regular Brief
Encounter meetings to a "Hustings session", with representatives of the main
No Homophobia in the Legal Profession!
In July 2009, a local solicitor, David Moore, of
Streeter Marshall, protested that the Law Society was urging law firms to
support Pride. His e-mail, leaked to the press, complained that the society was
being "hijacked by the gays", and most people wanted to bring up their children
"as nature intended". CAGS members staged a protest outside the Streeter
Marshall office and handed in a letter of complaint. Subsequently Mr Moore
stated that his firm was not homophobic, and he would have expressed himself
differently had he thought the e-mail would be leaked.
Gay Police Association
In 2006 we sent a letter of
support to the Gay Police Association, who were under some pressure having
advertised the marked rise in incidents against gay people where the main
motivation was religious.
In the early years of this century there was growing concern about rap
artists whose lyrics advocate the beating, burning and murder of gay people. In
2003 we wrote to Croydon Police, and via them to the Metropolitan Police Force,
asking that the Met should warn those who sell and distribute these lyrics that
they may face prosecution for incitement to murder or conspiracy to incitement
if they continue. Read our letter on
(In the event, a major international campaign, coordinated largely by
Outrage! mounted successful protests and the venues where the offending artists
were playing. This resulted in being able to negotiate with the distributors of
their music to cease promoting the specific songs which promoted the killing of
gay people. Although this campaign was successful it is maintained through
constant vigilance and immediate action on the occasions when the agreement is
broken. We understand that legislation is being actively proposed to make it an
offence to incite the murder of gay people, in the same way that other social
groups are protected.)
Civil Partnership Bill
IN 2003/4 we campaigned very extensively on Civil Partnerships, particularly
demonstrating that Christians have a long tradition of blessing same-sex
partnerships, and many wish to preserve this as a traditional part of the
Christian teaching and their right to do so should be respected. We sent
hundreds of letters to members of the House of Lords, on several different
aspects of the Bill.
CAGS' submission on the Department of Trade and Industry's consultation
document on Civil Partnerships.
Equality in Goods and Services
In June 2005 CAGS sent its submission
to the DTI on the forthcoming Regulations on Equality in Goods and
Police parading in Pride
CAGS signed up to an initiative from SLAGO, to write to thank chief
constables for allowing police officers to march in the Pride parade, in
uniform. In the event several Christian organisations signed up to this, so
CAGS was not quoted directly.
France and Civil Partnerships
On 14th December 2008 we wrote to our MEPs to urge them to sign
Declaration number 0076/2008.
France did not accept civil partnerships, so couples who moved to France or
worked there found unexpectedly that they had lost the rights and security of
civil partnership, and were nonetheless not eligible to dissolve their civil
partnership in order to enter a "PACS" under French law. The Written
Declaration addressed the problem of countries in Europe not recognising such
Early Day Motion
In August 2006 we urged our MPs to
sign the Early Day Motion protesting about the execution of minors and the
persecution of gays in Iraq.
Commission on Equality and Human Rights
In July 2006 CAGS sent its submission
to the DTI on the proposals for the forthcoming Commissions on Equality and
Gender Recognition Bill
submission on the Gender Recognition Bill (allowing transsexuals to have
their acquired sex recognised in law and recorded on their birth certificates)
addressed the point that a married person wishing to have their acquired sex
legally recognised will have to annul their marriage. We considered this was
unacceptable to the many people whose partners have stood by them through
extremely difficult times — not to mention those who took their marriage vows
seriously and fully intend that they should last for life.
Equal Employment Regulations
We made a submission to
the Government in January 2003 on the Equal Employment Regulations. After
the Consultation process was over, Downing Street had further consultations
with certain bishops and clergy. This resulted in changes to the wording of the
clauses that prevented people being sacked (or employed) by religious bodies,
on the ground of sexual orientation. We made urgent representations to the
scrutiny committee, which ultimately recommended that these changes be rejected
by Parliament. However, ministers clarified the meaning of these clauses before
both houses of parliament, establishing that the exceptions were every bit as
narrow as they had been. This has however not prevented vulnerable people being
sacked, and the attempt of the trade union Amicus to get a court judgement to
recognise this explicitly has resulted in no further clarification.