The Present Bill
Here is a summary of the most important changes the submission suggested be made to the present Bill. The submission:
- opposed the proposed increase in penalty from 10 years to 14 years' imprisonment for the sexual molestation of a male under 16 by a male over 21 and further suggested that the penalty be reduced to seven years to be consistent with the penalty for sexually molesting females under 16.
- advocated that the age of consent for homosexual acts between males be lowered to 16 years, consistent with that for females.
- urged that sodomy be no longer an offence except where it was forced upon either male or female (i.e. rape) or where performed by a person over 16 on a person under 16. (At present sodomy per se is an offence, even for example, between a consenting husband and wife.)
- urged the repeal of section 146 of the Crimes Act. Section 146 makes it an illegal for a landlord or occupier of premises to allow them to be used as 'a place of resort' for homosexual acts. While it is claimed that section 146 is intended to apply only to homosexual brothels it is framed so widely that it could possibly be used against couples engaging in homosexual activity within the privacy of their own homes. As such it causes homosexuals a great deal of worry. NZUSA contended that the real offence that ought to be attacked should be brothel-keeping, whether heterosexual or homosexual. The submission therefore suggested that section 147, which covers heterosexual brothel-keeping, be extended to cover homosexual brothel-keeping.