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Human rights activist to address issues of toleration in York

Posted on 27 October 2014

Human rights activist, Peter Tatchell, is to give the 2014 Morrell Memorial Address on Toleration at the University of York this week.

‘Homosexuality: From toleration to acceptance’ will take place on 28 October 2014 at 6.15pm in the Ron Cooke Hub.

Campaigning for the rights of the marginalised and vulnerable for more than 40 years, Peter Tatchell helped to organise Britain’s first ‘Gay Pride’ march in 1972. An activist in defence of gay rights, his campaigning has often come at personal cost, from being interrogated by the Stasi in East Germany to accosted by Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards when trying to arrest Mr Mugabe in London.

In his Address, he will take a critical look at the 1957 Wolfenden Report and 1967 Sexual Offences Act as examples of an era of disapproving tolerance, before examining the transition to the current majority acceptance of same-sex relations. 

Professor Matt Matravers, Director of the Morrell Centre for Toleration, said: "We are very honoured that Peter Tatchell has agreed to give this year’s Morrell Address. Peter’s long experience as an activist is particularly relevant to the discussion of toleration, and especially to the question of the accommodation of groups often regarded as marginal. I can think of no-one better qualified to confront the sometimes very difficult issues involved."

Since 1981, the Annual Morrell Address has been organised by the Morrell Centre for Toleration using funding from the C and JB Morrell Trust. Academics, politicians, lawyers and broadcasters, including Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield, Sir Edward Heath, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Mark Tully, have been invited to York to speak on issues surrounding toleration.


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