The place: England.
The time: 1983.
Whoo, first post! So I'm writing a piece of fanfiction in which the two main characters are members of a fictional UK intelligence service that is kinda sorta like MI5. Domestic affairs, mostly terrorism-related. (If it matters, it's The Professionals and they're in CI5.) Also they're gay. Because it's that kind of fanfiction.
What I want to know is: how illegal is it for them to be gay? Is it illegal, or against policy? How meaningful are the policies?
What I have found out: The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 decriminalized consensual homosexual acts between consenting adults except for members of the merchant navy and the armed forces. (I can't get the file with the actual text of the law to load on my computer, so I can't check for myself to make sure that's all.) But I'm getting the impression the law itself wouldn't apply to them. (The guy who had been committing homosexual acts in the merchant navy *and* the armed forces from about, oh, '62 to '75 is in the clear by '83, right? They can't, like, go back and charge him with anything? Or could they?)
I am under the general impression that at the time it was a bad idea to have gay people in your intelligence services, blah blah blackmail blah. Is this something the head of the agency (assume he is kindly disposed toward them) would look the other way on? Could he? Or would he have to do something? What exactly could the policy have said?
All the news a few months ago about how MI5 was now actually recruiting queer people did mention that the policy about being blackmailable was lifted "in the early 1990s." I am unable to find any more info about the actual policy. Specific dates, names, I got nothin'. Help? I'd really like to know more about this policy.
I basically want to get a sense of the different things that could happen to them, and their likelihood, and when in the future it would be okay to be out. Thanks.
[Edit: I should probably clarify, they're already agents, and they're coming out when they've been there several years.]
Search terms are various combinations of: uk homosexuality laws, lgbt, wolfenden report, civil service, mi5, blackmail, sexual offences act 1967.
Setting: An undefined hospital in the US, a couple years after now so I have a little leeway.
Terms searched: Hospital laundry, hospital gowns, disinfecting hospital clothes, effects of bleach on colors.
Okay, the short version is this kid's basically living in...not quite a hospital, but effectively pretty much the same thing. They've provided him hospital gowns, but he's managed to wheedle some of the nurses into washing some of his normal clothes with the hospital laundry so he can avoid being stuck in a hospital gown for as long as possible. From my googling, though, it looks like hospital laundry tends to use a lot of hot water and bleach to make sure the gowns are disinfected. (If anyone wants to go into further detail about how hospital laundries work though, I couldn't find much!)
After it's been going on for a while, what's this going to do to the clothes? Jeans are not supposed to be bleached, obviously! Neither are colorful t-shirts. Will the color fade evenly? In spots? Will it get holey really fast? I'd test this on some old clothes that I'm about ready to throw out, but I just cleaned out my closet the other month so I don't really have any.