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WE have just learned of the death this week in Brighton of veteran gay rights campaigner, Janey Buchan, 85.

An email we received today from ScotsGay’s John Hein said of the ex-Labour MEP:

She was inspiring to and influential in the LGBT movement in Scotland in the dark years between decriminalisation of gay male sex in England/Wales in 1967 and its eventual decriminalisation in Scotland in 1980.

She continued her involvement as Life President of the Scottish Minorities Group (later Scottish Homosexual Rights Group and subsequently Outright Scotland). Her late husband Norman was also a strong supporter of our cause.

She had taken an interest in LGBT campaigning, she told me, after learning that a gay concert pianist she knew had committed suicide and was outraged that anybody should feel that their career should be in any way restricted because of their sexuality.

Hein added:

Before she retired from public life and moved from Glasgow to Brighton to be near her son, she was always available to speak at any LGBT rally. She'd ask if she should wear her normal clothes or her "Dowdy Granny" outfit which she felt reached out better to older socially conservative people. But it was generally the young people who were most inspired by this feisty heterosexual woman who would take no prisoners when it came to fighting discrimination.

He concluded:

I only wish the Order of Perpetual Indulgence had got round to Sainting her.

Although clearly driven by humanist principles of equality and fair play, only one blogger – Ian S Smart – suggests she was a  non-believer. He says that Janey:

Shared her husband’s scepticism about religion.

And he added:

Although if she is sitting now in the company of St Patrick and St Vincent de Paul I'm sure she will be asserting almost immediately that they are a crowd of right wing bastards.

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