Glad to be gay: the struggle for legal equality
LSE Library’s spring exhibition Glad to be gay: the struggle for legal equality draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.
Before that, homosexuality was a criminal offence. With the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, homosexuality in private was decriminalised, but genuine parity still was not achieved. The struggle for legal equality continued and has only made progress by the sustained efforts of committed activists.
This exhibition follows the LGBT story from the ‘hidden’ years when homosexuality was a taboo subject, to the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967 and the emergence of gay liberation in the 1970s when the first Gay Liberation Front meeting was held at LSE in October 1970.
The exhibition looks at the campaigns to lower the age of consent for gay men to 16 (only achieved in 2001), to repealing section 28 which prevented ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools (only achieved in 2003) and for legal recognition of trans people and civil partnerships in 2004.