The Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) is a democratic voluntary organisation founded in 1964 with the aim achieving full legal and social equality for LGBT people in England and Wales.
Starting in Manchester as the North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee (NWHLRC) it initially worked for the removal of laws against gay sex between men. After this aim was partially achieved in 1967, it changed its name and broadened its scope to include the provision of social facilities for gay men and lesbians. In 1971 it adopted its present name, and had begun setting up local groups in London and elsewhere, as well as continuing to campaign for full equality. At its peak, CHE was the largest LGBT organisation this country has ever seen, with 6,000 members and over 100 local groups around the country.
Today, most of the original aims of the Campaign have been achieved, at least within the UK, and the organisation’s main focus is now on capturing and documenting its own history, within the wider story of the struggle for LGBT equality. To that end, we have engaged the writer Peter Scott-Presland to research and document the history. Volume One of his multi-volume book Amiable Warriors was published in February 2015 and can be purchased from www.amiable-warriors.uk; Peter is currently working on Volume Two.
CHE also supports the work of LGBT History Month and the UK LGBT Archive.
CHE’s operations were suspended during 2019 and 2020 owing to Covid, but during this time our Executive Committee and Trustees, working together as a Transition Team, worked to put CHE on a new footing during 2019, to reflect the fact that we are no longer realistically a campaigning organisation. We have created a new body, the CHE Research Trust (CHERT) a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission, to research and publish the history of LGBT rights in the UK, including in particular the history of CHE itself. Our Conference in October 2022 is planned to introduce a new simplified constitution for CHE, defining its relationship with CHERT. CHE members will thenceforward become Associate Members of CHERT.