Paedophile list set up by gay rights leader (06.07.97)
Sunday Times, 6th July 1997
by Marcello Mega
THE man who has emerged as the most prominent spokesman for the gay community in Scotland had close links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) when it was formed.
Ian Dunn, convener of Outright Scotland, the longest-established gay rights group in Scotland, has been given a high profile in recent months by the media. He has been widely quoted on a range of issues, including the rights of gay couples to adopt children.
He condemned police in Central Scotland earlier this year for a video camera surveillance operation in public toilets in Stirling which led to several gay men being charged. The operation also revealed that some men had had sex with a 13-year-old boy. He was also in the forefront of the successful campaign to ensure that men caught having a consensual homosexual liaison in a public place should not be placed on any future register of sex offenders.
Dunn has admitted that he co-founded PIE with Michael Hanson in 1974. Later, it became the leading contact group for adults campaigning for the right to have sex with children and a means by which sexually active paedophiles swapped information. This weekend, Dunn told The Sunday Times that past reports linking him to such activities had been exaggerated. He said that as members of the executive committee of the Scottish Minorities Group in the early 1970s, he and Hanson had agreed to facilitate research being done into sex with children by providing a contact address.
The aim was to establish whether the perception that homosexual men were more prone to paedophilia was correct. Dunn said that after the research was concluded, he found that the perception was mistaken. Some of those who had been involved moved from Edinburgh to London and took information gathered with them. Out of that move, he said, PIE was born, and he and Hanson had no more to do with it.
Ten years ago, The Sunday Times learnt that some editions of Minor Problems, a magazine set up in 1983 which assumed PIE’s mantle as the principal means of contact for paedophiles, once carried an address in Edinburgh’s Broughton Street, which turned out to be Dunn’s home. Dunn said his home was used as a box office address for one year, during which the first three issues of Minor Problems were published. He said he had been supplied with labels bearing a forwarding address in London and that after the first year, he had had no further connection.
Asked what his views were on sexual relations with children, he said he had none. When pressed, he insisted that paedophilia was not a gay issue and his views were therefore of no interest. Eventually, when asked whether he considered it acceptable or not, he said: “My views are so conventional as to be not worth reporting. I absolutely abhor people who have sex with children.”
Dunn was asked about an article in a tabloid newspaper in March 1987 in which he was quoted as saying at a secretly recorded meeting: “I think the youngest person…I had sex with was 14.” He said that what the tabloid failed to do was to tell its readers that he had also been at school at the time. He added: “As an adult, I have never had sex with anyone under the age of consent. I have never had and do not intend to have sex with children.”
Dunn, 50, was once a local authority planning officer. He had political ambitions as a councillor but abandoned those when his PIE connection became public knowledge. He has been involved in the work of the Gay Centre in Broughton Street for many years and recently took up the lease on the Stonewall cafe, which operates within the centre.
Related: ‘Gay rights activist’ Ian Campbell Dunn and the Paedophile Information Exchange