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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 2. March 11, 1975

The Submission's Approach

The Submission's Approach

NZUSA did not present detailed evidence as to the nature or causes of homosexuality because other submissions had dealt with this in great detail. The committee was referred particularly to the submissions made by Gay Liberation groups throughout the country. The NZUSA submission concerned itself mainly with the mechanics of rewriting the legislation to incorporate the general principles that had been outlined.

The submission pointed out that while the Bill was an important step towards equality and social justice by making present sanctions against male homosexual behaviour much less repressive, if preserved a number of serious anomalies in the present law both in relation to homosexuality and to sexual offending as a whole. Perhaps the most obvious was that while the present law recognised an age of consent of 16 for female homosexual relations, as the Bill stood the age of consent for male homosexual relations would be 21.

The submission recognised that the scope of the Bill was limited and that the Committee might feel restricted in the changes it could recommend. The submission therefore took a dual approach. Firstly, the present Bill was redrafted to incorporate a number of amendments which NZUSA believed were well within the competence of the Committee to make. Secondly, the submission outlined in detail the kind of common code that was desirable in terms of a reform of the whole Sexual Offences part of the Crimes Act, which was presently fraught with inconsistencies and anomalies. It was stressed however, that if the adoption of such a code were not possible at this stage that the need for reform of the male homosexual area of the law was so urgent that the present Bill (with the amendments suggested) should be passed into law without delay.