Bertrand Russell: Homosexuality between men
“Homosexuality between men, though not between women, is illegal in England, and it would be very difficult to present any argument for change of the law in this respect which would not itself be illegal on the ground of obscenity. And yet every person who has taken the trouble to study the subject knows that this law is the effect of a barbarous and ignorant superstition, in favour of which no rational argument of any sort or kind can be advanced.”
~Bertrand Russell Marriage and Morals (1929), Ch. 8: The Taboo on Sex Knowledge
Russell was an active supporter of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, being one of the signatories of A.E. Dyson’s 1958 letter to The Times calling for a change in the law regarding male homosexual practices, which were partly legalised in 1967, when Russell was still alive.
Marriage and Morals is a 1929 book by the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell that questions the Victorian notions of morality regarding sex and marriage. Russell argued that the laws and ideas about sex of his time were a potpourri from various sources, which were no longer valid with the advent of contraception, as the sexual acts are now separated from the conception. He argues that family is most important for the welfare of children, and as such, a man and a woman should be considered bound only after her first pregnancy.