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The Gay Rights Movement | The campaign for sexual equality

About this collection

In 1967, homosexuality was partially decriminalised in England and Wales. Since then, terms like 'clause 28', 'the age of consent' and 'civil partnerships' have become part of the political language in the fight for gay rights.

In this collection, we chart the story so far for gay and lesbian equality in the UK. Many of the programmes reflect the language common at the time when they were first broadcast and illustrate the changing attitudes towards homosexuality in the last 50 years.

The Gay Rights Movement Collection

Sir John Wolfenden.

Press Conference

Sir John Wolfenden

BROADCAST 1957
25 MINUTES

Sir John Wolfenden is questioned about the recently published report on homosexuality.

Sir John Wolfenden.

Any Questions

The Wolfenden Report

BROADCAST 1957
9 MINUTES

Has the Church lost its moral authority in accepting the 'Wolfenden Report'?

The silhouette of a man.

Male Homosexual

BROADCAST 1965
29 MINUTES

Interviews with homosexual men who risk arrest and social stigma.

Two women holding hands.

This Time Of Day

Lesbianism

BROADCAST 1965
14 MINUTES

Wendy Jones interviews lesbians about life in 1965.

Leo Abse.

Today

Leo Abse

BROADCAST 1966
3 MINUTES

Why should homosexuality be decriminalised?

The title card for the 'Man Alive' edition 'Consenting Adults: The Men'.

Man Alive

Consenting Adults: 1. The Men

BROADCAST 1967
30 MINUTES

Will a change in the law save homosexuals from blackmail and fear?

The title card for the 'Man Alive' edition 'Consenting Adults: The Women'.

Man Alive

Consenting Adults: 2. The Women

BROADCAST 1967
30 MINUTES

Can a lesbian ever find true happiness?

The 'Radio Times' listing for a 'Man Alive' programme.

Late Night Line-Up

Man Alive

BROADCAST 1967
38 MINUTES

A panel debates a recent documentary on homosexuality.

A clocktower in Edinburgh.

Open Door

The Scottish Minorities Group - Glad to be Gay?

BROADCAST 1976
29 MINUTES

Advice and support for gay men and lesbians in Scotland.

The 'Everyman' Logo.

Everyman

The Lord's My Shepherd and He Knows I'm Gay

BROADCAST 1977
39 MINUTES

Peter France reports on the Gay Christian Movement.

Lovers holding hands.

Inside Story

Coming Out

BROADCAST 1980
49 MINUTES

Preparing for the 1979 London Gay Pride week.

Ian McKellen.

Third Ear

Section 28

BROADCAST 1988
24 MINUTES

Ian McKellen challenges a government bill.

Presenter Joan Bakewell.

Heart of the Matter

Falling Out

BROADCAST 1991
32 MINUTES

Joan Bakewell investigates homosexuality in the British armed forces.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Special Assignment

Homosexuality In Britain

BROADCAST 1991
28 MINUTES

What does the future hold for gay people in the UK?

Justin Fashanu.

Open To Question

Justin Fashanu

BROADCAST 1992
35 MINUTES

How has 'coming out' affected the career of Justin Fashanu?

Reporter John Nicolson

Public Eye

A Question Of Consent

BROADCAST 1992
29 MINUTES

The campaign for equal ages of consent in the UK.

BBC Reporter Michael Gove.

On The Record

Consenting Adults

BROADCAST 1993
12 MINUTES

Michael Gove reports on the 1993 London Gay Pride March.

Ian McKellen.

Breakfast With Frost

Ian McKellen on Section 28

BROADCAST 1994
11 MINUTES

How will changes in the law affect education and the arts?

Edwina Currie.

News

Public Views on the Age of Consent

BROADCAST 1994
6 MINUTES

Should the age of consent for gay men be lowered?

The door to the  High Court, London.

News

Gays Forces Ban Upheld

BROADCAST 1995
4 MINUTES

The High Court upholds a ban on gays in the military.

Esther Rantzen.

Esther

Coming Out

BROADCAST 1996
29 MINUTES

Is it better to 'come out' before you're 'outed'?

A huge rainbow banner, a symbol of gay equality.

News

Homosexual Age of Consent

BROADCAST 1997
4 MINUTES

The government proposes a vote on the age of consent.

The golden globe of the Panorama title sequence.

Panorama

Gay Times

BROADCAST 1997
39 MINUTES

Does society accept the right to equality for gay people?

Stonewall director Angela Mason.

Woman's Hour

Ten Years of Stonewall

BROADCAST 1999
9 MINUTES

Jenni Murray speaks to Angela Mason, chief executive of Stonewall.

A passport and a rubber stamp.

The Day That Changed My Life

Compelling Circumstances

BROADCAST 1999
29 MINUTES

The gay immigration officer who went to prison and changed the law.

Representatives of the Armed Forces at the 2005 Gay Pride march.

The Six O'Clock News

Ban on Gays in Military Lifted

BROADCAST 1999
2 MINUTES

The European Court of Human Rights delivers its verdict.

Paul Gambaccini.

Newsnight

Gay Culture

BROADCAST 2000
8 MINUTES

Should the gay community integrate with the mainstream?

A red rose in a button-hole.

10 O'Clock news

Gays Couples Given Similar Rights as Married Couples

BROADCAST 2002
4 MINUTES

Gay partners are to get the same rights as married couples.

Two women greet the press after their civil partnership registration.

News

First Civil Partnership Ceremony

BROADCAST 2005
3 MINUTES

The first UK civil partnership takes place in Belfast.

A gay couple.

In Living Memory

Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin

BROADCAST 2009
28 MINUTES

The book that led to a ban on promoting homosexuality in schools.

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