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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 14. 1964.

Repercussions in NZ

Repercussions in NZ

"The repercussions of the Wolfenden report and of the Kinsey studies on the prevalence of homosexual behaviour were felt in New Zealand during the 1959 elections," he said. "Some candidates were asked to state their attitudes towards the reduction in the maximum sentence for homosexuality under one of the early revisions of the Crimes Act. So sensitive were the electorates and so precarious were, perhaps, the candidates' chances, that nobody attempted to explain that the revision was not to license homosexuality between consenting adult males in private, but merely to reduce their maximum penalties to three years."

But in New Zealand fears of homosexuality ran deep, so deep that we were often unlust to homosexuals. Homosexuals were blamed both for corrupting our society and for being symptoms of its decay. Mr. Taylor quoted the example of security; homosexuals were regarded as security risks until some prominent cases and autobiographies of spies showed that heterosexuals were no more reliable than homosexuals in matters of state.

In connection with the social ostracism of homosexuals, he mentioned the research of Dr. Sherwin Bailey, of the Anglican Moral Welfare Committee. Dr. Bailey's explanation is far less salacious than the common reference to Sodom. Gomorrah. Ancient Greece and Rome, and the corruption which the "sin" of homosexuality caused in these cases.