Case For Legal Recognition
In response to a number of scandals and in the tense paranoid social atmosphere
of the Cold War, Sir John Wolfenden was asked to examine and report on England’s
sodomy laws. This was to begin the modern movement for law reform aimed at
more humane treatment of homosexuals. It also sparked a debate about the role
of Christianity in English law, with Lord Devlin arguing that Christian moral
teachings were the foundation of English criminal law, in particular. In addition
to the legal debate, the Church of England set out to examine Christian teachings
on the subject, which would lead to the publication of the first major book arguing
for a revision to the traditional view, Dr. D. Sherwin Bailey’s Homosexuality
and the Western Christian Tradition in 1955.
 Sir John Wolfenden, "Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution" (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1957). The report recommended that homosexual behaviour in private, between consenting adults (i.e. over 21), be decriminalized.
 D. S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (London: Longmans, Green, 1955).
 Ibid. at 76-81.
 Ibid. at 149.
 W. Williams, The Spirit and the Flesh, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992) at 137.