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The History of Homosexuality: Wolfenden to Legalisation


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Ten years passed between the publication of the Wolfenden report and the legalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. The history books usually gloss over that decade, seeming to assume that’s just how long it takes to implement major social reform. Governments aren’t known for acting quickly.

Yet glossing over that key decade is to do a disservice to the men and women who campaigned tirelessly through it, the people prepared to come out of the closet and demand equality for the first time. That the government was so slow implementing change based on the conclusions of a report they’d commissioned suggests that the Wolfenden committee was charged with looking into homosexuality, not with a view towards changing the existing laws, but upholding them. When the verdict came down in favour of decriminalising homosexuality, a lot of people in power were both surprised and dismayed. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in History, Queer Blogging