Media ID   0203-B    

Vote (4 July 1975) on the second reading of the Crimes Amendment Bill introduced by Venn Young

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Bill Birch, Gavin Downie, Jim Bolger, Joe Walding, John (Jack) Marshall, Keith Holyoake, Ken Comber, unidentified speakers

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Source tape





4 July 1975







Recorded by


Barry Neels

Deposited by


Barry Neels


Sound quality – some fluctuations in the audio quality with dropouts.. audio is also biased on the right side. Continues on 0203-A


This summary gives general themes as to the content of this recording. It is not a verbatim transcript. Always refer back to the original audio. This is a working document and any amendments/corrections are welcome.



Vote on the second reading of the Crimes Amendment Bill (4 July 1975) introduced by Venn Young



Abolishment of death penalty for sodomy in 1861.. now is the time for clear and unemotional thinking [cut off]



[far away recording of a radio]



What affect will this have on the moral fibre of these boys under 21..defy evil influences.. This Bill will undermine the youth of our country



Keith Holyoake – The thought of homosexual acts is abhorrent to me .. but who am I to judge.. I wish this would go away .. I wish the problem would go away..



Holyoake – Two years ago I would have voted against it.. but today I will vote for it.. I don’t think the present sanctions in the law have achieved very much.. convictions in the law.. figures quoted in the House were misleading..



Holyoake- The reason why I am voting for this Amendment.. there should be no difference in the treatment of males and females in the law .. has the present law deterred homosexual activity – not much.. would there be an increase in homosexual activity – I doubt it.. I’m not convinced that the flood gates will open



Holyoake – Every church was asked by the Select Committee .. if the current law were not there would there be a crusade to change it today - no



Holyoake – I have personal knowledge of blackmail and mental torture of homosexuals.. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have some mental torture .. homosexual acts are abhorrent to me.. these people suffered .. because of the fear.. and that it is why I will vote in favour of the Amendment..



Bill Birch – I’ve had difficulty in deciding which way to vote .. I have compassion.. I joined the Member for Egmont in early discussions with the Homosexual Law Reform Society.. I was impressed .. You cannot look at this law solely through the eyes of those affected .. Homosexual behaviour is not a behaviour I would accept as normal.. I am unable to support the Bill .. Supporting the Bill would be seen to condone homosexual behaviour.. Should female homosexuals be brought under the Crimes Act as well?



Birch – society standards.. any action seen to condone homosexuality itself can have considerable effect on society at large.. Society should direct its efforts to correcting homosexual activity



Gavin Downie – I congratulate the Member of Egmont for bringing this Bill into the House.. It is right to be debating this in the house.. I don’t believe activities will lessen..



Downie – Age .. acceptable/unacceptable acts .. When we make a change in the law we must be very careful.. lowering of moral standards.. The Gay Liberation Movement does the cause no good.. A Christchurch homosexual wrote glorifying the acts of the Arabs .. they’ve been parading the streets.. I’m not convinced.. I find it impossible to support this Bill.



Jim Bolger – They have not been able to demonstrate that the current law represses homosexuals ..There have been three arguments that have been put up in favour of this Amendment: compassion .. the present law is unenforceable .. blackmail..



Bolger - There is inconsistency in this Bill .. we are excluding the armed forces and the police.. definition of an adult.. This Bill lowers it to twenty years.. but supporters want it lower still.. Carnal Knowledge.. If we pass this Bill I submit that we will be asked to lower the age in future years..



Bolger - Western laws are based on morality.. morality has always been a guideline.. under the current law not all those prosecuted end up in jail



Bolger - there is no law on having homosexual temptations.. I will be voting against this Bill.



Joe Walding – I will be voting in favour of a second reading.. I accept that these people have no way of changing .. misery, blackmail.. Alternative extremists do the cause no good.. in my own early days at sea I saw a lot of this activity going on.. The present law is illogical and un-enforceable



Ken Comber – During the 1972 election campaign many of us were asked our views on Reform.. Brian Edwards television programme on homosexuality.. As a result of all the discussions.. I’ve been torn in two directions.. Four points emerge.. Under the current law no homosexual has to go to jail, the social stigma will remain, in future years there will be public pressure to reduce the age of consent, will there be more aggression shown from homosexuals.. Any enactment to change the law will be seen as condoning homosexual activity.. The Amendment will not lift the threat of blackmail..



Comber – no one has convinced me that it is a natural state.. I’m sympathetic to males who have strong homosexual characteristics.. with help they can be counselled through it.. I’m finally swayed that currently there is no mandatory jail sentence.. I will be voting against this Bill..



John (Jack) Marshall - I’m opposed to legalizing homosexual behaviour.. The human body is made for relations between a man and a woman. it’s a perversion.. repulsive. There is a distinction between tendencies and behaviour (continues on 0203-A)