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Thin Edge of the Wedge: NZ Homosexual Law Reform 1985-86

Thin Edge of the Wedge: NZ Homosexual Law Reform 1985-86

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  • Sat 9 Jul ’16, 4:30pm – 5:45pm


Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington


All Ages

Marking the 30th anniversary of the final vote on the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, this programme will take you back to the heated meetings, street rallies and debates that began almost immediately after the Bill was introduced into Parliament.

Labour MP Fran Wilde’s Homosexual Law Reform Bill was not the first attempt at law reform. There had been a number of reform attempts in Parliament starting in the 1970s, preceded by years of action by community groups seeking equality.

Wilde’s Bill set out to decriminalise homosexual activity between adult consenting males and make it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation. It took 16 months for the proposed legislation to make its way through Parliament. Throughout this tumultuous time, many public events were held up and down the country, some advocating for reform, others opposing it.

Television news bulletins covered some of these events. Most of this screening programme comes from this mainstream media coverage, but juxtaposed with it are a number of excerpts from a private recording filmed by the Auckland Women’s Community Video Collective. These excerpts highlight the work and energy from New Zealanders who, despite not identifying as gay men, nevertheless put their shoulders to the wheel of momentum in a campaign for visibility, security and, perhaps most importantly, equality for all.

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