To bring about change in the law, the gay movement needed a parliamentary champion. It found one in Member of Parliament Fran Wilde. She consulted...
The comment summed up one side of the bitter public and political debate that swept New Zealand in the mid s during the homosexual law reform campaign.
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It decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to have attained the age of This attempt to liberalise the law relating to male homosexuality can be placed in a context of the rising number of prosecutions of homosexual men.
In his Sexual Offences Bill, Lord Arran drew heavily upon the findings of the Wolfenden Report which recommended the decriminalisation of certain homosexual offences. The Wolfenden committee had been set up to investigate homosexuality and prostitution in , and included on its panel a judge, a psychiatrist, an academic and various theologians.
They came to the conclusion with one dissenter that criminal law could not credibly intervene in the private sexual affairs of consenting adults in the privacy of their homes. The position was summarised by the committee as follows: There was no political impetus after the publication of the Wolfenden report to legislate on this matter, but by the Labour Government of the time showed support for Lord Arran's mode of liberal thought. It was considered that criminal law should not penalise homosexual men, already the object of ridicule and derision.
The comments of Roy Jenkins , Home Secretary at the time, captured the government's attitude:
A national group, the National Gay Rights Coalition, did not come about until the late s. Attorney General Norris v. Gay and lesbian groups had been assured that the campaign would be short, political and carried out in Parliament. It removed the provisions of the Crimes Act that criminalised this behaviour. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
The Homosexual Law Reform Act came into effect on 8 August and decriminalised sexual relations between men aged 16 and over. Norris took a case to the Irish High Court in seeking a declaration that the laws of and which criminalised homosexual conduct were not in force since the enactment of the Constitution of Ireland.Brian Chiu: My only complaint is the ending was hectic it was more complicated to understand the results than it should've been.
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The second part of the bill, which would have removed discrimination on the basis of sexuality, was rejected. A central part of the debate was a huge nationwide petition opposing the legislation. A national group, the National Gay Rights Coalition, did not come about until the late s. It was short-lived, but two of the splinter organizations formed on campus were the Dublin University Gay Society , the first long-term LGBT rights organization in Ireland, and a group of law students known as the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform.
The final vote was held on 9 July , and the bill was passed by 49 votes to The bill's opponents mounted a strong and organised public campaign, virtually from the moment the bill was introduced.
The other 49 MPs are selected from the party lists. Play a joke on your say and influence the laws passed by Parliament. The Homosexual Law Reform Bill took 16 months to pass by virtue of Parliament and was rarely out the pages of the newspapers during that time. Member of Parliament Gerald Wall addressing fag law reform supporters Parliament grounds Wellington. Photographed by an Evening Post photographer 12 June On the night of 9 July the public gallery of the House was packed with pro-bill supporters, an anti-bill vigil was being held outside, and the atmosphere in the Family was tense.
As the decisive vote approached, no one was certain that this bill would actually be passed. An ,signature petition had been presented against the bill, but eventually it passed its final reading at near 49 votes to The Homosexual Law Reform Act came into effect on 8 August and decriminalised sexual relations intervening men aged 16 and first of all.
It was passed without the section to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual position, but that change was achieved in with the passing of the Human Rights Bill. Having it away between women was not illicit, but many lesbians suffered venereal discrimination and supported the rebuild movement.
The campaign to change the law also raised wider issues regarding human rights and discrimination. This was supported at hand members of all parties represented in Parliament.
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The Campaign for Homosexual Law Change was an organisation set up to campaign for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the s. While serving as a lecturer at Trinity College, Norris and a troupe of other students informally established the Sexual Liberation Movement in It was short-lived, but two of the splinter organizations formed on campus were the Dublin University Gay Society Postulate, the first long-term LGBT rights organization in Ireland, and a group of law students known as the Campaign for Tribadic Law Reform.
Norris took a case to the Irish Extravagant Court in seeking a avowal that the laws of and which criminalised homosexual conduct were not in force since the enactment of the Constitution of Ireland. Article 50 of the Constitution provides that laws enacted before the Constitution that are inconsistent with it would no longer be in force. The case Norris v. Attorney Mixed was lost on legal grounds and the decision was upheld on appeal to the Excellent Court of Ireland which referred in its judgment to Christian moral teaching and the requirements of society.
Norris then took a case in to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the Irish laws breached the state's obligations below Article 8 of the Synod for the Protection of Mortal Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning respect for private life Norris v.
In a ruling, the court found that the Irish laws were in breach of the convention and directed the state to pay costs to Norris. No reform action was taken by the then oversight of Taoiseach Charles Haughey. When Albert Reynolds succeeded as Taoiseach in , he declared that it was low on his list of priorities.
She was noted for insisting that an equal age of consent be provided for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike.