Friday 23 February 2018

Meet the 'oldest gay' in Brighton who's finally received an apology from the Home Office

George Montague now lives happily with his partner of 21 years.

By Jessica Pitocchi

A 93-year-old man who was convicted for his sexuality in the 1970s has described receiving a letter of apology from the government as “the most wonderful” day of his life.

George Montague, nicknamed “the oldest gay in the village”, said he had “lived a lie” for around 40 years of his life, hiding his sexuality from everyone and even marrying a woman for 22 years.

In 1974, he was convicted of gross indecency with a man and was forced to resign from his job as senior commissioner in the Boy Scout Association following his arrest in Slough, Berkshire.

The nonagenarian has campaigned passionately for an apology for the tens of thousands of men prosecuted under these discriminatory laws – and finally, in April, he received a written apology from the Home Office.

Montague now lives in Brighton with his partner of 21 years Somchai Phukkhlai who he married in July 2015 – one day before Brighton’s annual Gay Pride celebration.

His comments come as people around the world mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and Biphobia, which aims to raise awareness of the discrimination faced by minorities.

Press Association

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