It removed the provisions of the Crimes Act that criminalised this behaviour. Male homosexual sex became illegal in New Zealand when the country became part of the British Empire in and adopted English law making male homosexual acts punishable by death.
The Offences Against The Person Act of changed the penalty of buggery from execution to life imprisonment. In the law was broadened so that sexual activity between men constituted "sexual assault" even if it was consensual.
Penalties included life imprisonment, hard labour and flogging. Sex between women has never been legally prohibited in New Zealand.
In the penalties for male homosexual activity were reduced, reflecting changing attitudes towards homosexuality. Shortly afterward the Dorian Society and later the Wolfenden Association were formed to campaign for legalisation of male homosexual sex.
In a petition signed by 75 prominent citizens and calling for legislative change was presented to and rejected by parliament. This would have legalised sexual activity between men over the age of 21, but was defeated 34 to 29, with 23 abstentions. Warren Freer proposed similar legislation in and but this did not receive support from gay activist groups, who felt that a different age of consent for gay and straight sex would perpetuate discrimination and homophobia.
Originally, the bill had two parts — one decriminalised male homosexuality, while the other provided anti-discrimination law protections for lesbians and gay men. The first part passed narrowly 49 Ayes to 44 Noes on 9 Julyafter an attempt by opponents to invoke closure and end debate was defeated by one vote the previous week; the bill might have failed if a vote was taken then as several supporters were kept away from Wellington by bad weather.
The second part failed, but was incorporated a supplementary order paper added to the New Zealand Human Rights Act The Act was subject to substantial debate, and faced fierce opposition from Christian political activists such as Keith HayPeter Tait and politicians such as Norman Jones National MP for Invercargillas well as the Coalition of Concerned Citizens which they created to distribute a petition against the Act.
While the Coalition of Concerned Citizens threatened electoral reprisals, the Fourth Labour Government was returned for a second term of office, losing only one constituency seat to the National Party Opposition in I faced the classic dilemma of voting according to my own judgement or the opinion of those I was elected to represent.
As a new member, I opted for the latter and I've always regretted it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Current legislation The New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Act is a law that legalised consensual sex between men aged 16 and older.