Dorian Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Dorian Society (1962–1988) was the first New Zealand organisation for homosexual men.[1] It was primarily a social club that avoided political action. In 1963, it took the first steps towards law reform by forming a legal subcommittee that collected books and other resources.[2] It also provided legal advice to its members. By 1967 it sought advice from the English Homosexual Law Reform Society and Albany Trust on the legislative changes occurring there. This led to a New Zealand society dedicated to law reform. Its first project was a petition, signed by 75 prominent citizens, that was presented to (and rejected by) Parliament in 1968.[3]

The Wolfenden Association[edit]

About 150 people attended a public meeting in Wellington on 17 April 1967 to form a society to work for homosexual law reform. It called itself the Wolfenden Association, but it soon became the New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Society. Lord Cobham, a former governor-general, was invited to become its patron. His letter to the society secretary, Jack Goodwin, declining patronage was blunt and expressed a common attitude:

'These people are mentally sick to as great an extent as, for example, people suffering from smallpox are sick. The whole problem of legalizing this offence seems to me to hinge upon the extent to which the disease is contagious.'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chronology of homosexuality in New Zealand
  2. ^ LAGANZ-MS-Papers-403, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ
  3. ^ Setting the scene - homosexual law reform

External links[edit]