Saturday, November 04, 2017

Obituary: British Gay Rights Pioneer Roger Lockyer

Roger Lockyer (right) celebrate his wedding to Percy Steven in 2014. // BBC News
BBC News reports:

Professor Roger Lockyer, historian, author, and activist, was born on November 27, 1927. He died on October 28, 2017 at aged 89. 

When Roger Lockyer met his future husband Percy Steven on a blind date in 1966, their relationship made them criminals in the eyes of British law.

By the time the distinguished academic and author, a reader at Royal Holloway and Bedford Universities of London, died shortly before his 90th birthday, the pair lived as a legally married couple - having tied the knot in 2014.

Their remarkable journey drew worldwide press attention, when, in 2005, they became one of the first couples to enter into a UK civil partnership. Invites to Downing Street followed.

Together for 51 years, they proudly marched in this year's Pride in London parade waving rainbow flags.

However, this was never the plan. Historians usually document history - they rarely walk into the pages themselves.

The couple had lived a quiet, cultured existence in an elegant flat in Marylebone, central London, until the modern era of LGBT rights came knocking and propelled them into the limelight.

Roger (R) and Percy at Pride in London 2017
Pictures of the pair in sharp suits saying their civil partnership vows, and later popping a magnum of champagne on the steps of the Westminster register office, appeared on TVs and in newspapers across Europe, the US and Canada. 

Read the full obituary here.

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