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DELGA pays tribute to Leo Abse

August 20, 2008 1:04 PM

Lib Dem LGBT group DELGA today paid tribute to former MP Leo Abse, who passed away last night aged 91.

As Labour MP for Pontypool and Torfaen, guided the 1967 Sexual Offences Act through Parliament, which decriminalised sex between men aged 21 and over.

DELGA Chair Jen Yockney commented, "to read the debates from the time of the partial decriminalisation in 1967 is quite astonishing, and a reminder of just how far we have come in the 41 years since. Leo Abse put forward what were deeply controversial proposals at the time, and the then Home Secretary Roy Jenkins - later a key member of the SDP and Liberal Democrats - gave government time to the bill which enabled it to become law."

"Like David Steel's move to legalise abortion, Leo Abse's bill was one of a handful of changes at that time which in time transformed society and brought about some of the personal freedoms we now take for granted."

"Gay and bisexual liberation and equality campaigners of all political colours will be sorry to hear the news of his death, but glad to remember what he achieved."