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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 2. March 11, 1975

General Philosophical Position

General Philosophical Position

At the outset NZUSA.(hereafter meaning also the Law Faculty Club) stated its general philosophical attitude to the laws governing sexual behaviour.

We support the principle of legal equality between people regardless of their sexual preferences, and we believe that all sexually discriminatory legislation must he removed. In particular, we believe that there should be a common code governing sexual behaviour for male and female, in which objectively similar types of sexual behaviour, whether homosexual or heterosexual, are treated consistently.

Drawing of two girls kissing

We believe that individuals' sexual preferences are matters of private morality, unless they can he clearly shown to have significantly harmful effects for other people. Only then can it be contemplated that they should become the subject of criminal sanctions.

The function of the criminal law is to prescribe those activities that fall outside the the maximum level of social toleration and which thereby threaten the society's existence. Clearly, behaviour that violates the person of another human being or exploits his or her weaknesses or which is fraudulent cannot be tolerated, whether or not it is connected with sexuality. The central issue raised by the present Bill is whether or not private homosexual behaviour falls outside the maximum level of social toleration, thereby becoming a threat to society's very existence. We submit that it does not but falls within the 'realm of private morality which is . . . not the law's business.'