Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill — 13 Nov 2000 at 18:08

Lord Taylor of Blackburn voted in the minority (Not-Content).

House in Committee accordingly.

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Lord Ampthill) in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Reduction in age at which certain sexual acts are lawful]:

moved Amendment No. 1:

Page 1, line 5, leave out subsections (1) to (4) and insert--

("(1) In the Sexual Offences Act 1956, in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 16 (indecency between men etc.) of Schedule 2 (punishments etc.), for the word "eighteen" there shall be substituted the word "sixteen".

(2) In the Sexual Offences Act 1967--

(a) in subsection (1) of section 1 (amendment of law relating to homosexual acts in private), for the words "a homosexual act" there shall be substituted the words "an act of buggery in private with another man or commission of an act of buggery";

(b) after subsection (1), there shall be inserted--

"(1A) Notwithstanding any statutory or common law provision, an act of gross indecency in private with another man or commission of an act of gross indecency shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of sixteen years.";

(c) in subsection (3), after the words "subsection (1)" insert "or (1A)";

(d) in place of subsection (6), there shall be substituted--

"(6) It is hereby declared that where in any proceedings it is charged that--

(a) an act of buggery with another man or being party to the commission of such an act is an offence the prosecutor shall have the burden of proving that the act was done otherwise than in private or otherwise than with the consent of the parties or that any of the parties had not attained the age of eighteen years;

(b) an act of gross indecency with another man or being party to the commission of such an act is an offence the prosecutor shall have the burden of proving that the act was done otherwise than in private or otherwise than with the consent of the parties or that any of the parties had not attained the age of sixteen years."; and

(e) in section 8 (restriction on prosecutions), for the words "against any man" to the end of section there shall be substituted--

"(a) for the offence of buggery with another man, for attempting to commit an act of buggery, or for aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or commanding its commission where either of those men was at the time if its commission under the age of eighteen;

(b) for the offence of gross indecency with another man, for attempting to commit an act of gross indecency, or for aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or commanding its commission where either of those men was at the time if its commission under the age of sixteen.".

(3) In section 13 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (homosexual offences)--

(a) in subsection (1) for the words "a homosexual act" there shall be substituted "an act of sodomy in private by one male person with another male person or commission of an act of sodomy";

(b) after subsection (1), there shall be inserted--

"(1A) Subject to the provisions of this section, an act of gross indecency in private or shameless indecency in private by one male person with another male person or commission of such an act shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of sixteen years.";

(c) in subsection (3), after the words "subsection (1)" insert "or (1A)";

(d) in subsections (5) and (8), for the words "a homosexual act" there shall be substituted "an act of sodomy by one male person with another male person";

(e) after subsection (5), there shall be inserted--

"(5A) Subject to subsection (3) above, it shall be an offence to commit or to be party to the commission of, or to procure or attempt to procure the commission of an act of gross indecency or shameless indecency by one male person with another male person--

(a) otherwise than in private;

(b) without the consent of both parties to the act; or

(c) with a person under the age of sixteen years."; and

(f) after subsection (8), there shall be inserted--

"(8A) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing or to being party to the commission of, or to procuring or attempting to procure the commission of an act of gross indecency or shameless indecency by one male person with another male person under subsection (5A)(c) above that the person so charged being under the age of 24 who had not previously been charged with a like offence, had reasonable cause to believe that the other person was of or over the age of 16 years.".

(4) In Article 3 of the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982 (homosexual acts in private)--

(a) in paragraph (1), for the words "a homosexual act in private" there shall be substituted "an act of buggery in private by a man with another man or commission of an act of buggery in private by a man with another man";

(b) after paragraph (1), there shall be inserted--

"(1A) Subject to Article 123 of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, and notwithstanding any other statutory provision or any rule of law, an act of gross indecency in private with another man or commission of an act of gross indecency with another man shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of 17 years.";

(c) in paragraph (3), after the words "paragraph (1)" insert "or (1A)"; and

(d) in paragraph (5), for the words "a homosexual act" to the end there shall be substituted--

"(a) an act of buggery by a man with another man or being party to the commission of such an act is an offence the prosecutor shall have the burden of proving that the act was done otherwise than in private or otherwise than with the consent of the parties or that any of the parties had not attained the age of 18 years;

(b) an act of gross indecency with another man or being party to the commission of such an act is an offence the prosecutor shall have the burden of proving that the act was done otherwise than in private or otherwise than with the consent of the parties or that any of the parties had not attained the age of 17 years.".").

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 205; Not-Contents, 144.

Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Content)Minority (Not-Content)Turnout
Bishop4 430.8%
Con141 (+2 tell) 164.6%
Green1 0100.0%
Ind Lab1 0100.0%
Lab16 91 (+1 tell)56.0%
LDem0 30 (+1 tell)50.0%
Other3 222.7%
UUP1 050.0%
Crossbench36 1431.4%
Total:203 14250.7%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible lord who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Party | Vote

NamePartyVote
Lord Norton of LouthConno
Lord Blease Labaye
Lord Brookman Labaye
Lord Clarke of HampsteadLabaye
Lord Cledwyn of PenrhosLabaye
Lord Cocks of HartcliffeLabaye
Lord Davies of CoityLabaye
Lord Dixon Labaye
Lord Donoughue Labaye
Lord Islwyn Labaye
Lord Lofthouse of PontefractLabaye
The Earl of LongfordLabaye
Lord Mason of BarnsleyLabaye
Lord Mishcon Labaye
Lord Orme Labaye
Lord Shore of StepneyLabaye
Viscount Simon Labaye

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