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Age of consent for gay men set at 16 at last!

January 2001

In 1998 the House of Lords overturned a Commons vote to reduce the age of consent for gay men to 16 in line with heterosexuals. A battle commenced until in the summer of 2000 the Government threatened to use the Parliament Acts to override the House of Lords and force the legislation through.

In response, the House of Lords passed a compromise amendment which kept the age for buggery at 18 for boys and girls, but left intact the provisions in the Government Bill which permitted other homosexual acts at 16.

The Government rejected this discrimatory compromise and invoked the Parliament Acts.

In January 2001 the age of homosexual consent was finally reduced to 16, in line with heterosexual consent.

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