Conclusion: Endings or Beginnings?
New Labour, Sexuality, and Reproductive Politics, 1997 to 2010
Beginning in 1998, there were a series of parliamentary initiatives that reshaped the place of gay men and lesbian women in British society. In 2000, after a two-year struggle between the Commons and the Lords, the age of consent was equalized at 16 between homosexuals and heterosexuals. The ban on gays and lesbians in the armed forces was also ended that year. In a new Sexual Offences Act, gross indecency was abolished as an offence. The year 2003 also witnessed the repeal of Section 28. This chapter concludes the book by examining the legislative record of the New Labour governments of 1997 to 2010 on sexual questions, notably gay and lesbian rights, but also with relationship to reproductive politics. It argues that this record is a significant and substantial one in reshaping personal and political life in Britain.
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