Events In History


Homosexual law reform

  • Homosexual law reform

    The homosexual law reform campaign moved beyond the gay community to wider issues of human rights and discrimination. Extreme viewpoints ensured a lengthy and passionate debate before the Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed in July 1986.

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  • Page 2 – Setting the scene

    There is a long history of opposition to sexual activity between men and an equally long history of legislation criminalising this activity.

  • Page 3 – Birth of the gay movement

    Social and political groups for homosexuals in New Zealand began with the Dorian Society in the 1960s. Within a decade, sexual and social liberation was in the air.

  • Page 4 – Reforming the law

    To bring about change in the law, the gay movement needed a parliamentary champion. It found one in Labour MP Fran Wilde.

  • Page 5 – Further information

    Further information relating to Homosexual Law Reform.


  • Wilde, Frances ('Fran') Helen

    Fran Wilde was a Cabinet minister in the Labour government of the 1980s, and is perhaps best known for her private members bill for homosexual law reform. She left Parliament to become the first female Mayor of Wellington.

  • Davey, Norris Frank

    Frank Sargeson, born Norris Frank Davey in 1903, was one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers of the 20th century.