Hannah Telling: 50 Years Since the Sexual Offences Act 1967

Today The Provocateur continues its miniseries for LGBT History Month with a special episode to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised same-sex intercourse between consenting male adults in England and Wales. Since the Act was passed we have witnessed great strides in the acceptance of LGBT people in the UK but also a backlash against said visibility. This was especially true from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, which saw the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the enforcement of Section 28, a law which explicitly banned the teaching of homosexuality in English, Welsh and Scottish state schools.

In this episode I interview Hannah Telling, a PhD student in History at the University of Glasgow, to discuss the historical context of the Sexual Offences Act, the legal and political complexities of the Scottish exemption from the Act, the changing climate for LGBT people in Britain since the Act and continuing challenges to LGBT rights progress.

You can listen to the podcast here: 

Note: Cllr Tom Hayes of Oxford City Council is looking for gay men with a pre-1967 Oxford connection to tell their stories about gay life in the city before decriminalisation. For more information go to http://bit.ly/fiftyyearsoxford.

Further Reading:

Cook, M. (2007) ‘From Gay Reform to Gaydar, 1967-2006’, in Cook, M.  (ed.) A Gay History of Britain: Love and Sex Between Men since the Middle Ages. Oxford: Greenwood World Publishing.

Davidson, R. and G. Davis (2006) ‘Sexuality and the State: the Campaign for Scottish Homosexual Law Reform, 1967-1980’, Contemporary British History 20(4), pp. 533-558.

Jeffrey-Poulter, S. (1991) Peers, Queers and Commons: The Struggle for Gay Reform from 1950 to the Present. London: Routledge.

Jivani, A. (1997) It’s Not Unusual: A History of Lesbian and Gay Britain in the Twentieth Century. London: Michael O’Mara Books.

Meek, J. (2015) Queer Voices in Post-War Scotland: Male Homosexuality, Religion and Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Weeks, J. (2016) Coming Out: The Emergence of LGBT Identities in Britain from the 19th Century to the Present. London: Quartet Books.

 

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