Monday, 6 February 2017

LGBT History Month 2017

We're now almost a week into LGBT History Month and, to my shame, this is my first post.

I plan, however, to remedy that by making a number of posts over the next few weeks to celebrate the 2017 theme, PSHE: Citizenship & Law - with special interest in the Law aspect.

There are a number of anniversaries to be celebrated this year. The most salient of them being the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts between men by the Sexual Offences Act 1967 - so long as they were consenting adults, over 21 and in private, obviously.

Coincidentally, in September, 2017 also sees the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Wolfenden Report, whose recommendations were - after 10 long years - adopted in the Sexual Offences Act.

Both anniversaries are splendidly celebrated by the coming into effect of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017. The Act includes a posthumous pardon for all gay and bi men who were convicted under pernicious laws in the last century that enabled the police to criminalise people for being who they are. This is an important milestone, which will help draw a line under the damage caused to many thousands of lives.

As always, a real fount of information is to be found at
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  1. Of course we forget these anniversaries whilst getting on with life. We forget the media material that there has been, the BBC film about the Wolfenden Report and how it came to be written, for instance. It is an odd world when what liberated us, and still keeps us 'out' and more fully citizens of the country becomes the subject of dates we remember from the past-it is time to think of what we have built on those foundational freedoms we have been given methinks....

  2. It was half a century ago - I was 10. Eek! So now for most of the population it's history. I recall 10 years ago running an event about Polari in which I talked about the criminalisation and decriminalisation of sex between men. There were some 20 year olds among the group that were mystified by the idea that they might once have been criminals. Hey ho.