• Jeffrey Meek
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History Series book series (GSX)


In 1967 gay men in England and Wales celebrated the limited decriminalisation of sex between males, brought about through the Sexual Offences Act. The path to law reform had begun in 1957 with the publication of the Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (hereafter, the Wolfenden Report),1 which had followed investigations into whether the laws governing sex between men were appropriate. It may have taken a decade for the recommendations to find their way into law, but after centuries of persecution gay men had achieved a measure of freedom from state interference in their lives. Yet, gay men in Scotland were excluded from this legal change, and faced a further 13 years of criminalisation until in 1980 the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act brought about legal equity. Prior to this, crossing the border between England and Scotland was a legally retrograde step which reduced the lives and experiences of non-heterosexual men to a collection of sexual acts judged by a prurient and hostile legal justiciary.


Sexual Identity Oral History Oral History Interview Scottish Society Retrograde Step 
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Copyright information

© Jeffrey Meek 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Meek
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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