July 07, 2006

20 years of legal buggery

This weekend it's twenty years since the "homosexual law reform" happened in New Zealand, when it finally became legal as a man to sleep with a man. Of course 1986 was rather late in the piece, since other countries had abolished buggery as a crime much longer ago (or even have never considered it worthy of being a crime). Even the UK got into the act in 1967, two years before that other recently celebrated act of queer defiance, the Stonewall riot in New York (or commemorating Judy Garland's death, whatever floats your boat).
But the main difference and great thing about the New Zealand legalisation was the equalisation of the age of consent at 16 for both orientations - something which the UK has only recently managed to do.
And, of course, the removal of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in other Government policy areas such as immigration, resulting in me being here through my relationship rather than through dollops of cash or special skills (although I'm applying my special skills, don't you worry about that!)
So it's celebrations all around the country, with veterans of the campaign rekindling old memories. An events listing here.

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