A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
Other notable presentations at Wolfenden50 were an amazing presentation by Welby Ings (AUT University, NZ) who talked about the language and law relating to New Zealand Public Toilets 1860-1967. Welby is also an award winning film director and his presentation was fascinating. Over lunch we had a long conversation and it seems many of the themes and issues I’ve discovered in my own work (see earlier post for this month) are applicable in NZ too. There’s clearly scope for some interesting comparative research in this area. Robert Reynolds (University of New South Wales, Australia) talked about Wolfenden’s ‘grandchildren’ in the form of the current queer “youth” generation in Australia. He’s publishing a book that focuses on a number of young people alter this year. His research found that many young people can’t relate to ‘queer culture’ with its bars, clubs and saunas and so seek out alternative space. For some this meant their first sexual encounters might take place in a public sex environment. Worrying stuff.
The whole conference had been based around the 50th anniversary of the Wolfenden Report which ultimately paved the way for the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which legalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 in private. Fifty years! A lot has changed but there is so much socially still to be done.