LondonNet News Headlines
17/06/04
Gay Museum Planned for London
- Tatchell gets all-party backing for scheme

FAMOUS gay people from British history, including 'secret' gay and lesbians such as Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill and Lord Haig will be the centrepiece of a new Museum of British Gay History planned for the capital. The scheme's proposer, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, said: "So many gay people have made a contribution to British history and their story, their gay story and their whole story, needs to be told."

Candidates for London Mayor rushed to back the idea. Ken Livingstone (Labour), Steve Norris (Tory), Simon Hughes (Lib Dem) and Darren Johnson (Green) all came out for the plan, with Johnson even including it on his manifesto.

"London is well catered for in terms of the commercial gay scene. But there has to be more than bars and clubs, both in terms of tourism and of the people who live here," said Johnson.

The all-party backing for the museum shows how quickly times have changed. Back in 1999, the Museum of London risked prosecution under the anti-gay law known as Section 28 when it showcased a gay history exhibition.

Tatchell estimates the museum will cost UKP20 million to set-up and hopes to get the bulk of it from National Lottery funds. His favoured site is the former Bow Street police station where Oscar Wilde and Tatchell himself were held after their respective arrests.




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