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Leo Abse (1917–2008), was a Welsh lawyer and politician whose career was dominated by his fight for homosexuality, divorce and fertilisation law reform. Abse had a flair for fashion and was viewed as an exhibitionist with a shrewd and serious political outlook. Abse promoted the Wolfenden report’s recommendations to legalise homosexuality between two consenting adults. Nine years after the publication of the report and with support from Lord Arran, Abse was able to table the Sexual Offences Bill in 1966 with the support of the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins. The Welsh MP was criticised by the Homosexual Law Reform Society for not consulting them over the details and drafting of the Bill and for resisting any suggestions for alterations. Nevertheless, Abse’s persistence in regards to achieving the Sexual Offences Act 1967 resulted in the MP being viewed as one of the leading social reformers of the twentieth-century.
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