Law and Social Change 3

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  • Law and Social Change 3- Homosexuality
    • 1957: Wolfenden Committee recommends that 'homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence'
      • Recommendations rejected by government
        • 1967: The Sexual Offences Act decriminalises sex between two men over 21 and 'in private'. Did not extend to the Merchant Navy or Armed Forces, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
          • 1980: Sex between two men over 21 'in private' is decriminalised in Scotland
            • 1981: Northern Ireland's criminalisation of same-sex acts violates European Convention of Human Rights
              • 1982: The Homosexual Offences Order decriminalises sex between 2 men over 21 'in private' in N. Ireland
                • 1988: s28 of Local Government Act 1988 states that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality"
                  • Or "promote teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship"
                    • 1992: WHO declassifies same-sex attraction as a mental illness
                      • 1998: House of Commons votes to lower age of consent for same-sex relations between men to 16 in England
                        • 1998: A month later the House of Lords defeats the clause
                          • 2003: s28 is repealed in England, Wales and N. Ireland, lifting the ban on local authorities from 'the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality'
                            • 2004: Civil Partnership Act is passed, granting civil partnership in the UK. Gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples in UK


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