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Nelson gay rights icon dies, aged 84
A GAY rights icon — who lobbied as a Nelson councillor for the decriminialisation of homosexuality has died at the age of 84.
Allan Horsfall, who served as a Labour borough councillor between 1958 and 1961, was recognised as a pioneer of the gay rights movement.
He tabled a motion in 1959, urging Labour to remove the legal stigma, before going on to form the Campaign for Homosexual Equality in 1971.
Tributes have been led by fellow gay rights stalwart Peter Tatchell, who said “Allan was arguably the grandfather of the modern gay rights movement in Britain.
He said: “He was first active for gay law reform in the late 1950s.
Mr Horsfall later led a successful campaign to free the ‘Bolton Seven’, in 1998, when a number of individuals were held for carrying out sex acts involving more than two gay or bisexual men, which was then illegal.
He lived in Farnworth latterly and died of heart failure.
His funeral, a humanist ceremony, is being held today at Overdale Crematorium, from 2.45pm.
Mr Tatchell added: “We all walk in Allan’s shadow. He was still campaigning for LGBT rights until a few months before he died. His activism spanned more than 50 years.
“Allan was a warm-hearted, generous and much loved humanitarian — and humanist. I will always remember him with much admiration and affection.”
Mr Horsfall worked for the National Coal Board from 1959 to 1971 and then Salford Education Committee.
For 48 years he was in a relationship with Harold Pollard, a head teacher and former CHE chairman, until his partner’s death in 1996.
In 2000, Mr Horsfall received The Pink Paper Award for his services to the gay community and was honoured with other campaigners, in 2004, at a ceremony at Manchester Town Hall.
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