Skip to main content

Sexual Offences Act 1967

After several attempts to introduce homosexual reform, Lord Arran introduced the Bill in the House of Lords in May 1966 after the general election. As soon as the Bill passed, Leo Abse MP introduced it into the House of Commons under a ten minute rule procedure, with the support of the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins. A standing committee was set up to consider amendments and after an intense night of debates, at the third reading, the Bill was passed 101 votes to 16. After passing all stages in both houses, the bill received Royal Assent on the 21st July 1967.

The Act permitted homosexual acts between two consenting adults over the age of twenty-one. Whilst the Act was a considerable milestone in achieving homosexual law reform, equality for the LGBT community was far from being achieved. Restrictions were placed on what was considered private and the Act only applied to England and Wales. It would take a number of years for Parliament to fully legalise homosexuality.