8 Oct 1968
FIRST PRO LAW REFORM PETITION
A petition calling for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting males aged 21 and over was presented in Parliament. The petition, organised by the New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Society, was signed by 75 courageous New Zealanders (keeping in mind law reform didn't occur for another 18 years). Member of Parliament John Rae said "one cannot but be impressed with the status of the people who were prepared to put their names on the petition. They start from the highest office in the Churches and go through the professional groups, the lawyers, professors, school masters, scientists, and others." MP Robert Talbot, an opponent, told the House "The petitioners have stated that homosexuals live in fear of being caught because of the present law... It is no doubt correct, but I believe this fear is necessary if this unnatural activity is to be controlled in our society." Interestingly, MP Martin Finlay noted "I think it is generally accepted, at least in medical and scientific circles if not publicly, that every one of us has some latent element of homosexuality in him, even those who are loudest and most vehement in their protestations of revulsion."