Britain May Soon Revise Its Gay Sex Laws
November 20, 2002
SUMMARY: The British government announced plans on Tuesday to sweep away
the country’s last remaining anti-homosexual laws.
The British government announced plans on Tuesday to sweep away the country’s
last remaining anti-homosexual laws.
"Certain existing offenses criminalize consensual sexual activity in
private between men which would not be illegal between heterosexuals or
women," said a Home Office document. In order "to make policing the
law fair and practicable, these offenses will be replaced with generic
Home Secretary David Blunkett—scrapping outdated 115-year-old legislation—revealed
"buggery" will no longer be illegal between consenting gay people.
Gay and straight couples can have sex "in an isolated place where one
would reasonably expect not to be observed."
A new measure outlawing overtly sexual behavior in public—carrying a
six-month jail sentence—will apply to both gay and straight couples.
Blunkett told members of Parliament: "Consensual sex in private that
does not harm anyone should no longer be an offense."
Parliament will likely consider the proposed legislation next year,
according to the Associated Press.