WE honor George Cecil Ives as a Saint of Antinous for his pioneering crusade in Victorian England to create a modern "Theban Band ... Army of Lovers" and usher in the age of gay spiritual activism.
He was born on October 1, 1867 in England. He died June 4, 1950. While in London, in 1892, a gentleman by the name of Lord Alfred Douglas encouraged him to join "The Cause", which was an early British movement to bring an end to homosexual persecution.
Ives was a friend of Oscar Wilde and attempted to enlist him, but was unsuccessful.
In 1897, believing that "The Cause" could not be openly discussed due to the extreme moral restriction of his age, Ives decided to go underground and founded the Order of Chaeronea, which was a secret society for homosexuals.
The name and spirit of the order was taken from the battle in which the Sacred Band of Thebes, the corps of 300 pairs of gay lovers, was defeated by Alexander and Phillip at the Battle of Chaeronea. The 300 had to be annihilated by Alexander because they refused to surrender.
Taking this "Army of Lovers" as their model for courage in the face of oppression, the Order of Chaeronea organized powerful and wealthy homosexuals who were otherwise unable to meet in public, into a secret political and spiritual force.
Saint George Cecil Ives, the guiding light of this first religious organization devoted to the sacredness of homosexuality, worked closely with other prominent homosexuals of the time such as Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld and Edward Carpenter, both of whom are Blessed Saints of Antinous.
In his voluminous writings, George Cecil Ives refers to Walt Whitman (another Antinoian Saint) as "The Prophet" and used lines from Whitman's poetry in the ritual and ceremony of the Order of Chaeronea.
He is numbered as one of the Uranian poets, and referred to Antinous as a symbol of male beauty and perfection.
For his effort to undermine the oppression of homosexuals, for the holiness and sanctity upon which he upheld our sexuality, and for calling out to our beloved Antinous, we thank Saint George Cecil Ives, and pray to him to aid us in the continuation of his divinely inspired work. He died on this day in 1950.