Story: Gay men’s lives

Petition against law reform

In 1985 the Coalition of Concerned Citizens organised a petition opposing the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, which organisers claimed had received more than 800,000 signatures. The group believed that decriminalising gay sex would lead to moral decline and the spread of AIDS. This clip shows them presenting the petition to sympathetic MPs on the steps of Parliament. National MP Norman Jones asked Parliament not to legalise ‘sodomy’, while the bill's sponsor, Labour MP Fran Wilde, highlighted the emotional intensity of the issue when she suggested that it was the petition’s supporters who were the ‘perverts’. Parliament passed the bill, and many of the signatures on the petition were later discredited.

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How to cite this page:

Chris Brickell, 'Gay men’s lives - Gay activism and law reform', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 July 2024)

Story by Chris Brickell, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 11 May 2018