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PinkNews Parliamentary reception marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality

Joseph McCormick July 18, 2017

The PinkNews Parliamentary summer reception takes place this evening to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

PinkNews will be joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Lord Speaker Norman Fowler and Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 legalised consensual gay sex in private.

Experts argue that the 1967 Act did not decriminalise homosexuality as it only meant two men could have sex in private, but nobody else could be present, and because the age of consent was still 21 for gay sex.

But the event will mark the first of many steps which have improved LGBT+ life in the UK in the past 50 years.

The reception, which takes place this evening, Tuesday 18 July, from 6pm, will include speeches by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Education Secretary Justine Greening as well as the Lord Speaker Norman Fowler.

The reception is kindly hosted in the State Rooms, Speaker’s House, by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

George Montague, known as the ‘oldest gay in the village’, will also reflect on being convicted, and call for the Government to do more to make amends for the historic convictions.

Montague has said he did not receive an apology and has vowed to fight on including for compensation for those convicted.

As well as marking 50 years since the passage of the Sexual Offences Act in July 1967, the reception will also announce nominees in some categories of the PinkNews Awards.

The Awards will take place on 18 October 2017 in Westminster.

PinkNews Awards

Speaking ahead of the event, PinkNews CEO Benjamin Cohen said: “It is incredibly important to mark 50 years since homosexuality was partially decriminalised.

“PinkNews wants to celebrate strides made from the 1967 Act onwards including the eventual equalisation of the age of consent, same-sex marriage and the Gender Recognition Act, among other legal and societal changes.

“It is also vastly important to note battles still to be won. It is still illegal to be gay in 72 countries around the world and many LGBT people suffer under laws introduced during the British Empire, which is proof that we need to redouble our efforts to improve the lives of LGBT+ people at home and abroad.”

The PinkNews summer reception takes place on 18 July from 6-8pm, and will use the hashtag #PinkNews50 for coverage.

The PinkNews Awards is generously supported by Lloyds Banking Group.

Lloyds Banking Group logo

More: George Montague, Jeremy Corbyn, justine greening, Sexual Offences Act 1967

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