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Wolfenden report

The Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden report, after Lord Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee) was published in Britain in 1957 after a succession of well-known men were convicted of homosexual offences.

Disregarding the conventional psychological ideas of the day, the committee recommended that "homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence". This led to the passage of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act[?], which replaced the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act[?] that was the previous law on homosexuality. It's publication was a turning point in the legalization of homosexuality in Western countries. Many Western cultures have now legalized homosexuality and homosexual acts, although the sodomy laws of several states in the United States remain an obvious exception to this trend.


  • Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution, 1957. Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Reprinted 1963 as The Wolfenden Report: Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution. New York: Stein and Day.

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