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Gas Gays Storm


This article from 'In The Pink', January 1987, shows the level of hatred towards the gay community, using the AIDS crisis as an excuse to call for the mass extermination of gay men and lesbians. Advocating a method favoured by the Nazis during World War II, the Gas Chamber. No disciplinary action was ever taken by the Conservative Party against .


The Tory leader of , Bill Brownhill, is in the centre of a political storm following his call for the mass extermination of gays. His comments followed a meeting of the council's Health Committee at which a government film on was shown. He said, "I should shoot them all... those bunch of queers that legalise filth in homosexuality have a lot to answer for and I hope they are proud of what they have done.

"It is disgusting and diabolical. As a cure I would put 90% of queers in the ruddy gas chambers. Are we going to keep letting these queers trade their filth up and down the country? We must find a way of stopping these gays going round yet we are making heroes of some of these people and some are even being knighted."


He was supported in these views by the leader of the local Labour group Jack Greenaway, who said, 'Everyone of us here will agree with what has been said". The only dissenting voice was Liberal councillor John Chambers who argued that AIDS was originally a heterosexual disease originating in Africa, "there is little point in queerbashing other than making ourselves feel better".
The meeting voted to ask the Home Office to revise existing legislation on homosexuality (presumably to decriminalise gay male sex) and to press magistrates to deny licences to pubs known to have a gay clientele.


Since the council meeting Bill Brownhill has received the support of the Council Chairman, Ted Bolland, who described Bill Brownhill as who courageous man... who has worked for years for the good of the people and the environment of South Staffordshire". He went on to say that councillor Brownhill remarks were "not taken literally by most of the members present". He then attacked church and political groups for not attacking homosexuality, quoting Martin Luther King "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who perpetrates it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really co-operating with it."


Reaction against Councillor Brownhills call for genocide has come from Campaign For Homosexual Equality (C.H.E.) spokesperson Jim Edgehill who said that, "the remarks were outrageous, ill-informed and prejudiced. This kind of comment defies analysis". The MP for South Staffordshire Patrick Cormack described Cllr Brownhill remarks as "Un-Christian...we should love the sinner but not condone the sin". An officer from Conservative Central Office said that no disciplinary action would be taken against Cllr Brownhill as "it is the season of goodwill".

The Chairman of South Staffordshire Labour Party, David Cole, has asked for clarification of what Cllr Greenaway the Labour leader, said in the debate. Mr Cole said these views were incompatible with what the party stood for. He called for a public apology from Cllr Greenway, "If we don't get that retraction we would have to take some sort of action... Expulsion would be the final sanction, but it is hoped it is not going to come to that. I was outraged by this reports and want to find out if it is true that Labour councillors are saying these things."

The council officer's union, Nalgo, has demanded an early meeting with both the Labour and Tory leaders. Mr Sid Platt, Nalgo West Midlands District Officer, said that he was concerned about people in responsible positions whipping up "anti-homosexual hysteria".

Contributed by: In The Pink, 21

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