PETER SCOTT-PRESLAND, Counsel for the Prosecution: Lord Alfred Douglas was the single most disastrous thing to happen to LGBT+ Equality in the last 200 years – more destructive than Henry Labouchere, more sanctimonious than Mary Whitehouse, more vindictive than Section 28. By literally and metaphorically destroying both Oscar Wilde and that pioneer of gay liberation Robert Ross, Wilde’s first real boyfriend, he set us all back by at least fifty years.
ANDREW LUMSDEN, Counsel for the Defence: In the 1890s Lord Alfred Douglas, not ‘Robbie’ Ross, was the recognisable pioneer of gay liberation. With his ‘Two Loves’ he was the first male poet since Christopher Marlowe to make an unforgettable protest against the hetero-normative. Douglas then suffered a catastrophic post-activist burn-out. Wilde refused to run for it in 1895, resulting in his prison injuries and death, and Eire honours him for that brave defiance today.
Members of the Jury, what is your verdict? Guilty or Not Guilty?