Sexual Offences Act 1967

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The opening page of the Act
The Sexual Offences Act 1967 is an Act of Parliament, it decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21. The Act applied only to England and Wales, but not the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces.

In 1966 a Sexual Offences Bill, sponsored by the Conservative M.P. for Lancaster, Humphry Berkeley, sought to partially decriminalise homosexuality. This was debated but Parliament was dissolved for the 1966 General Election before it could be passed into law [1]. Homosexuality was not decriminalised in Scotland until the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 and in Northern Ireland by the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982.


  1. Humphrey Berkeley subsequently lost his seat to a Labour candidate at the General Election on a swing from Conservative to Labour in Lancaster of 6.10% . This was one of the highest swings in the County of Lancashire. The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1966 (London 1966).