The Campaign for Homosexual Equality

CHE, c/o London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN

CHE in the news

New Vice-President

We’re delighted to announce that Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, has agreed to become a Vice-President of CHE. Baroness Kennedy is a leading lawyer and civil rights campaigner.

LGBT History Month 2017

CHE continues to support LGBT History Month. We sponsored the launch event on 30 November at the Speaker’s Chamber in the House of Commons. Unlike previous years, there were very strict limits on the numbers of people who can attend, but Nettie Pollard, Peter Scott-Presland and Ross Burgess were all there. There were also no stalls this year, but we invested in a pull-up banner, which was in use for the first time.

History Month 2017 has a theme of citizenship and the law. The National Festival will take place in many locations throughout February (see and the associated Academic Conference “Sexing the Past”, will be in Liverpool from the 3rd to the 5th of March (see CHE is once again sponsoring the Allan Horsfall Memorial Lecture in memory of our founder: the speaker will be the biographer and playwright Diana Souhami.

London Metropolitan Archives Conference

We plan to have a stall (jointly with the UK LGBT Archive) at the LGBTQ History and Archives Conference, “Queer Time, Queer Place, Queer Action”. Saturday 3 December at the London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell. Tickets £15 / £10 from

Oliver Merrington

Sadly we have to report the death of Oliver Merrington during the summer. Oliver was a CHE member for many years in Cambridge and also played an important role in looking after the Hall-Carpenter archive of LGBT material now held at the London School of Economics. His funeral in August 2016 was attended by representatives of CHE and a number of other voluntary organisations to which he gave his time and effort. Our condolences to Luca, his partner of 17 years.

The Feminist Library

The Feminist Library, founded in 1975, is an important collection of literature relating to the women’s liberation movement. CHE contributed to its emergency fund when it was threatened with closure earlier this year, and has now signed up as a Friend of the Library, which moves into the Old Kent Road Studios during 2017.

CHE supports the LGBT History Festival

February 2015

Over the Valentine's weeked in February 2015, LGBT History Month organised a Festival of LGBT History in Manchester. CHE paid for the distinguished historian, Professor Charles Upchurch, to deliver the first Allan Horsfall Memorial Lecture in honour of our founder, and Peter Scott-Presland gave the keynote speech in the academic part of the conference, on the subject “Addressing historical silences: CHE, the first ‘out’ and popular homosexual rights group”.

CHE celebrates 50 years and receives a special award

October 2014

On 7 October 2014, 50 years after the inaugural meeting of the North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation organised a special anniversary event in Manchester. The Bishop of Manchester unveiled a plaque at Church House, site of the inaugural meeting, CHE representatives had tea with the Lord Mayor in Manchester Town Hall, and in the evening CHE received a special award at the Homo Heroes Awards ceremony.

Change of Address

November 2011

As a result of downsizing by the LGBT Consortium we are changing our postal address. We're delighted to announce that we will now be hosted by London Friend (which began many years ago as an off-shoot of CHE) at their offices in King's Cross: the new address is:

  • CHE, c/o London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN.

CHE Meeting at Ealing Town Hall

October 2011
Lord Collins, John Gallagher, Ross Burgess
(left to right) Lord Collins, John Gallagher, and Ross Burgess (CHE Executive Member)

We held our autumn Quarterly Meeting at Ealing Town Hall on the 8th of October, by special invita­tion of John Gallagher, CHE member and Mayor of Ealing. The main speaker was Ray Collins (Baron Collins of Highbury) until recently General Secretary of the Labour Party.

fter the meeting we had drinks and nibbles in the Mayor’s Parlour.

AGM and Conference

July 2011

We held our AGM and Annual Conference on Sunday 4th July at the Soho Centre for Health and Care. The main business was a debate on Gay Marriage between Peter Tatchell and Andrew Lumsden. A full report of the debate can be viewed here; details of the rest of the meeting are in the Conference Minutes, available on request.

CHE and Pride

July 2011

As in previous years, CHE funded the refreshments for older LGBT people at St Anne's Soho, on the afternoon of London Pride

 John Gallagher elected Mayor of Ealing

May 2011

John Gallagher
John Gallagher

Congratulations to CHE Member, John Gallagher, who has been relected as Mayor of Ealing for 2011–2012, having been Deputy Mayor the previous year.

Michael Brown gives the Robert Cook Lecture

April 2011

On the 10th of April, Michael Brown, recipient of the Derek Oyston Achievement Award, gave the first Robert Cook Lecture on the subject of “Before the Act – being gay in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.”

The lecture is in memory of Robert Cook, one of CHE's longest-standing supporters, who died in 2009.

Derek Oyston film prize awarded

April 2011

CHE judges for the 2011 Film Festival
Left to right, George Tregaskis, Ian Stewart, and Nettie Pollard

CHE is once again presenting the Derek Oyston Film Award at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. CHE's three judges, George Tregaskis, Ian Stewart, and Nettie Pollard, have met with a BFI programmer and made a selection.

The winning film is Mutantes (Punk Porn Feminism) and the runner-up is We Were Here.

Derek Oyston prize given to Michael Brown

March 2011

Michael Brown with certificate
Michael Brown holding the certificate

The 2010-11 Derek Oyston Achievement Award, in conjunction with the LGBT Consortium, was presented to Michael Brown, veteran gay campaigner, at a ceremony on the 29th of March.

The presentation took place at a Consortium event to launch the website and the LGBT Pledge for London’s statutory providers.

See other pages for  more about the award (with another photo), our Press Release, and a page of tributes to Michael Brown.

See the video of Michael Brown's interview following the award.

CHE at the Consortium Conference again

January 2011

CHE again had a stall at the conference of the LGBT Consortium, held this year in Leeds. All delegates attending the Conference received a form inviting them to nominate people or organisations to receive the Derek Oyston CHE Award, 2010–2011.

CHE meeting and reunion

November 2010

CHE members and guests at the reunionIt was standing room only at Friends House, Euston, on the 27th of November, for a special CHE Quarterly Meeting.

There was a special invitation to all who contributed to the book Out of the Shadows or are mentioned in it, and the meeting began with Tony Walton, editor of Out of the Shadows, describing how the book came to be written. Other items included a commemoration of the life of Griffith Vaughan Williams, an inroduction by Peter Scott-Presland to the book he has been commissioned to write about the history of CHE, and a general discussion about CHE's future. It was standing room only, and CHE recruited a number of new members.

Death of Griffith Vaughan Williams

November 2010

We very much regret to announce the death on 15th November 2010 of our Secretary, Griffith Vaughan Williams, a very long-standing campaigner for gay rights.

Griff's funeral was on Wednesday 8th December 2010 at Mortlake Crematorium, conducted by Rev Sharon Ferguson of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.

Contract signed for book on CHE

November 2010

Peter Scott-Presland signs the contract while Griffith Vaughan Williams looks onAt the November 2010 meeting of CHE's Executive Committee, it was agreed to commission Peter Scott-Presland, the noted gay author, to write a history of CHE. This was one of the last things Griff did for CHE, before his untimely death less than two weeks later.

Our photo shows Griffith Vaughan Williams (Secretary of CHE) and Peter Scott-Presland at the Executive meeting.

CHE at the LGBT History Month pre-launch

November 2010

Our stall at the pre-launchCHE paid for LGBT History Month to use the Twickenham rugby centre on the 2nd of November 2010 for the pre-launch of LGBT History Month 2011.

Our picture shows the CHE stall at the pre-launch.

Book launch at CHE AGM

July 2010

Out of the Shadows book launchCHE's AGM at Friends House on the 4th of July was the setting for the launch of Out of the Shadows, edited by Tony Walton, a history of the pioneering London gay groups and organisations, 1967–2000. See the Out of the Shadows web page, which includes information about the book and its contributors and how to order it.

Special guests at the AGM included Angela Mason (recently appointed a Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission) and Michael Black and John Morgan, the gay couple who hit the headlines in March when they were refused a double room at a Berkshire B&B.

London Pride Parade and festival

July 2010

Saturday 3rd July: CHE funded the refreshments at the afternoon Relaxation and Entertainment Area at St Anne’s Dean Street (which also featured entertainment by the London Gay Symphonic Winds).

John Gallagher elected Deputy Mayor of Ealing

May 2010

Congratulations to CHE Member, John Gallagher, who has been re-elected as Councillor for South Acton Ward, and subsequently elected as Deputy Mayor of Ealing for 2010–20011.

CHE joins the Cutting Edge Consortium

April 2010

CHE has become a corporate member of the Cutting Edge Consortium, a unique coalition of faith-based and non-religious social justice organisations, civic groups, trades unions and professional associations, opposed to religious exemptions from legislation on sexuality and gender identity. For more information about the Cutting Edge Consortium, e-mail

General Election 2010

March 2010

Our campaign of writing to prospective parliamentary candidates has its own page on this website.

Second Derek Oyston Film Award

March 2010

For the second year running, CHE has presented the Derek Oyston Film Award as part of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. This year it went to The Kuchus of Uganda, directed by Mathilda Piehl. See our Film Awards page for more about this.

CAGS affiliates to CHE

March 2010

Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) voted to affiliate to CHE, under CHE's new affiliation arrangements.

Death of Alan Louis

March 2010

Alan LouisIt's with great sadness that we report the death of Alan Louis, CHE's Community Liaison Officer and a long-term member of the Executive Committee. Alan died on the 4th of March at Bart's Hospital.

Alan had been an active supporter of CHE for many years and took a particular interest in services for older LGBT people and the "murder music" campaign.

CHE Executive members and friends were much in evidence at Alan's funeral on the 29th of April at Golders Green Crematorium. We heard tributes from several people who had known Alan, plus a selection of his favourite music. Afterwards we went to the Tea Room for light refreshments.

CHE Quarterly Meeting

March 2010

Members at the Quarterly MeetingCHE's quarterly meeting was held on Sunday 14th February: at Friends House, Euston Road. The meeting included a commemoration of the late Robert Cook, a very long-term supporter of CHE, and discussion of campaigning priorities and other future activities.

CHE at the Consortium Conference

January 2010

CHE stall at the Consortium ConferenceAt least five CHE members (including three Executive members) attended the Consortium Conference (that's the Consortium of lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Voluntary and Community Organisations) at an hotel in London on the 30th of January 2010.

A lot of the delegates visited our stall and took copies of the leaflets and the Annual Report and Spring Newsletter.

We had some interesting discussions, and are hoping to pick up some new members as a result.

Robert Cook dies

December 2009

Robert CookWe were very sad to hear of the death on 28th December 2009 of Robert Cook, a very long-standing supporter of CHE. He died instantly of a heart attack while waiting at a bus stop.

Bob set up the original lesbian and gay policing initiative about 20 years ago, and was one of the leading members of LMG (London Monday Group for Homosexual Equality) as well as Returning Officer for CHE's annual elections. He was always a good person to talk things over with, and will be much missed.

The funeral was held on Thursday 14th January, at St Mary Abbot's Church Kensington, where Bob acted as archivist.

Special CHE Meeting

October 2009

CHE meeting,27th OctoberWe held a special meeting on the 17th of October at the Consortium offices in Bermondsey, where we have our office space. We had a private DVD showing of the film Darling, which won the 2009 Derek Oyston Film Award, and discussed plans for the future.

The meeting asked the Executive to:

  • investigate a new scheme for other organisations to become members of CHE
  • consider arranging a special mini-conference to discuss issues of false accusations of sexual abuse.

It's now planned to have similar meetings about once a quarter.

SLAGO Garden Party

August 2009

SLAGO's annual Garden Party was held in Purley. Griff Vaughan Williams of CHE presented the SLAGO cup and shield to the winning groups.

Derek Oyston CHE Award

July 2009

Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (logo)The first Derek Oyston CHE Award, in conjunction with GALHA was presented to Sue Sanders of Schools Out during the GALHA (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association) 30th anniversary event (also commemorating 40 years of CHE), in the Great Hall of the Bishopsgate Institute.

More about the award....

CHE Conference and AGM

July 2009

The annual conference, held at Friends House, heard about CHE's successes during the past year, and planned its activities for the future..

London Pride

July 2009

The parade was followed by a relaxation event at St Anne's Soho, from 2 to 5 pm, with tea/coffee provided by CHE and entertainment by the London Gay Symphony Orchestra.

Chris Smith becomes a Vice-President

February 2009

Lord Smith of FinsburyCHE is delighted to announced that Lord Smith of Finsbury has agreed to become one of our Vice-Presidents. As Chris Smith he was Britain's first openly gay MP and he's currently Chairman of the Environment Agency.

CHE launches film award

February 2009

For the first time, this year CHE, in association with the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, presented The Derek Oyston CHE Film Award. The award, value £2,000, was for the film screened in the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival which most reflected the aims and objectives of CHE.

The intention of the Award is that it will encourage filmmakers to make films which document the experience of campaigning and the continuing struggles for LGBT rights in the UK and around the world.

Old campaigners reunited

February 2009

CHE's 40th Birthday CakeCHE held a very successful reunion event on Sunday 15th February 2009 as part of LGBT History Month. The event, at Friends Meeting House in Euston Road, was open to all present and former members of CHE and their friends.

We had an excellent turnout including members from different periods of CHE's 40-year history. Our Vice-president Ray Gosling cut the cake, and several of those present renewed their membership of CHE.

The CHE Executive have decided that the Reunion is to become an annual event.

Ray Gosling cuts the cakeSome of the guests at the ReunionLGBT History Month

CHE leaders talk in Croydon

December 2008

Allan Horsfall and Ray Gosling in CroydonAllan Horsfall (CHE's Life President) and Ray Gosling (a CHE Vice-President) spoke at a meeting of Croydon Area Gay Society on the 2nd of December 2008.

See the CAGS press release for more details.

CHE — past and future

November 2008

CHE's Life President, Allan Horsfall, writing in the November 2008 issue of Out in the City magazine (page 91), talks about the origins of CHE and why it is still very much needed today.


Follow CHEcampaignUK on TwitterFollow CHE on Twitter