1967 Sexual Offences Act
- Video interview with Paula Stevens-Hoare about the 1967 Sexual Offences Act banner
- Film made by De Montfort University students on the Sexual Offences Act, 1967
Homosexuality was decriminalised the year I was born. As a lesbian who grew up in London, I marched at Pride and against clause 28, and I experienced prejudice first-hand. Efforts to win full equality continue.
I wanted to design a banner that acknowledged the struggle, but celebrated the gains. Most of the people connected with the first significant changes in law were men and their contributions are well documented: Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, John Wolfenden and Leo Abse. Little is known about the three women who abseiled onto the Floor of the House of Lords in protest against clause 28; or April Ashley, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery in the '60s, who has campaigned for the rights of transsexuals and was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to gender recognition; or Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall, the largest gay equality body in Europe.
Stonewall is one of many organisations that campaigned for the rights we enjoy today. It supported Euan Sutherland's bid to get the age of consent equalised to 16 for all. Thanks to Stonewall, since 2000, it has been legal for gay, lesbian and transgender personnel to serve openly in the armed forces.