Media ID   0216-A    

Parliamentary debate (16 October 1985) on the second reading of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill

Unique ID



Helen Clarke, John Banks, Noel Scott, Rex Austin, Trevor Mallard

Related media

0215-B, 0216-B


Source tape





16 October 1985







Recorded by


Barry Neels

Deposited by


Barry Neels


Parliamentary debate on the second reading spans 0213 – 0223, and 0206


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.



Helen Clarke [continued from 0215-B] – age of consent.. we have a role as opinion leaders in the broader community.. logic and principal.. support for sixteen.. I don’t believe there will be an increase in homosexuals..



Clarke – it amuses me when I hear people say I’ve never met a homosexual.. many homosexuals repress their homosexuality.. for men it is a criminal offence.. at present they lead secret and unhappy lives.. extremely negative self-image..



Clarke – I believe that our society is far less than healthy when it represses fundamental aspects of the identity of a number of our citizens.. we will be a healthier society when we acknowledge our differences..



Clarke – Part Two – anti discrimination measures follow on naturally from the first part of the Bill.. I suggest we will have made very little progress if we fail to take steps to remove discrimination and persecution.. Over time anti-discrimination legislation reduces prejudice.. I support the Bill in its present form.



Rex Austin – as individuals we bring our individualism.. I stand against the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.. It is wrong.. This country will one day rue the day if this Bill is passed.. Human rights..



Austin – I cannot subscribe to an all embracing sexual license .. boundaries are equally important.. this House must set those boundaries for the families protection.. and the countries survival. Quote from Jacob Bronowski - the Ascent of Man.. Man is a singular creature.. man has the ability to shape the landscape.. I’m not going to go with the tide .. I’m not going to join the ballot of convenience.. it’s a moral judgment.. improve humanity



Austin – then there’s homosexuality itself.. homosexuality is limited .. 10%.. from personal observation I find that figure false and misleading.. Polynesian cultures 2%.. Middle East – higher than 50%.. the incidence can be altered from 2 – 50% by the mood of the society..



Austin – Greek/Roman Empires.. seducing young boys.. It’s possible to create climates that increase homosexuality.. I don’t want to be identified with any law that opens the door.. I want to preserve the rights of children, the home, the family .. this law will undermine them and the Christian religion.. I don’t believe in Humanism.. I shall vote against every clause of this Bill .. I shall support the age of consent amendment..



Austin – what is good for the young goose is not necessarily good for the young gander ..because a thing happens does not mean you need to accept it.. The majority of people expect us to be moral..



Noel Scott – This debate has only been matched by the Springbok tour.. interesting parallels.. pro tour and anti Law Reform.. The argument that sports people should be able to play with whoever they want .. yet consenting adults must be legally prevented from homosexual acts



Scott – this is a strict conscience vote..






Trevor Mallard – point of order.. interjections.. tolerance..



Scott – reactions to people in my electorate.. petitioners have discredited their cause.. distinctly un Christian..



John Banks – point of order .. offensive words .. those good people who took those 800,000 signatures.. I will get disorderly..



Speaker ruling



Scott – the petition..



Scott – homosexuality tendencies are natural.. I believe that historically societies have blamed the individual.. discrimination.. correspondence of personal trauma..



Scott – love is much more than physical.. if the law is to invade the bedrooms of the nation .. who is normal.. what is normal.. adults must decide for themselves..



Scott – decriminalizing an act does not make the act attractive, acceptable or compulsory.. protection of our young.. the dangers are much more from heterosexuals..



Scott – I acknowledge that the age of consent is controversial .. female homosexuality has been rather ignored or minimised.. equality of sexes .. I support the age of consent at sixteen.. Human Rights – I believe it is inhuman to discriminate.. [continues on 0216-B]