A gay sex "zone of toleration" in London's Russell Square is being proposed by OutRage! as a way of reducing public complaints and police harassment arising from gay cruising and sex in the Square at night.

      The idea is modelled on the "tolerance zone for gay sex" that operates in parks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam with the agreement of the police and city council.

      Under the OutRage! proposal, Camden Council and Holborn Police would agree to the creation of an officially-designated "zone of toleration" within Russell Square, where gay sex would be permitted.

      "One third of Russell Square could be sectioned off with a high fence and thick shrubbery", explained John Beeson of OutRage!. "Entrance to the area would be marked with a warning sign. A similar system has worked well in the main parks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam for many years".

      OutRage! is attacking the homophobic campaign mounted by some local residents.

      "If local people don't like gay sex in Russell Square, they should stay away. No one is forcing them to go there. They can use Bedford Square or Coram's Fields instead. In any case, what are these heterosexual whingers doing wandering around Russell Square at 2 a.m.? They should be at home looking after their children", said Beeson.

      OutRage! is blaming Camden Council for the rise in public complaints of "indecency".

      "The Council increased the lighting in the Square and cut down the thick shubbery, making the sex more visible. No wonder public complaints have increased.

      "Having created the problem, Camden is now considerlng closing the Square at night to stop gay men having sex there. This would end more than 50 years of gay cruising in Russell Square.

      "To make the sex more discreet, Camden Council should turn off the lights and replant head-high dense bushes around the outer perimeter of the Square, the borders of the flower beds, and the sides of the café. That would cut the visibility of sexual behaviour and minimise public complaints", said Beeson.


The Botanist

As time has passed, I've come to be
A botanist, like Bellamy.
I spend my time in darkened rooms,
Caressing rare, nocturnal blooms.
You'll often find me in the park,
Inspecting bushes after dark.
On Hampstead Heath's secluded walks
I'll hunt for thick, protruding stalks.
As dusk descends, I'll still be out,
To see what creepers are about:
With luck I'll take one home to bed,
Or pot one in the garden shed.
Now Russell Square's another nook
Where night-time growths deserve a look.
Some penis flytraps can be seen,
One glimpse of which would turn you green.
And Kennington, allegedly,
has much to offer men like me.
The cottage, so I'm told, is sweet:
A fragrant, cosy place to meet.
I'm not alone in liking flowers,
Or ling'ring in clandestine bowers.
It seems a lot of other chaps
Are fond of flora, and perhaps
Policemen like to plant things too:
It seems that way -- I've met a few.
So if this hobby's got you hooked,
Beware of bobbies, don't get booked.
And finally, a word to heed,
As you go off to sow your seed:
If digging deeply is your love,
Be sure to wear your gardening glove.


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©1998 OutRage! London
URL: http://www.RoseCottage.me.uk/OutRage-archives/russell.htm
Last modified: 28-May-1999