Diocesan press releases

St Asaph Cathedral marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality

An evening of celebration and reflection to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality will take place at St Asaph Cathedral.

The event, entitled Coming out the Shadows, will reflect on the impact of that law and remember those who suffered because of their sexuality both before the change in law and since then.

Speakers from across Wales will remember the pain of those who fought for the change in the law and whose lives were blighted, and share their hopes for the future.

Coming out the Shadows will take place on Thursday 19 October at 7pm for 7.30pm and will include reflections from:

  • Andrew White, Stonewall Cymru
  • Adam Price AM (Plaid Cymru)
  • Hannah Blythyn AM (Labour)
  • Rev’d Sarah Hildreth-Osborn (LGBTQIA+ Chaplain) and members of Open Table

The event is being organised by members of Llanrwst Open Table (part of the LGBTQIA+ Chaplaincy) a monthly gathering for the LGBTQIA+ community, families, friends and supporters.  It’s led by the chaplain, the Revd Sarah Hildreth-Osborn who said: “We felt very much that we wanted to remember this historic legislation and how it changed the lives of so many people.

“Holding the event in St Asaph Cathedral signals that the church acknowledges the pain that the criminalisation of homosexuality caused so many and how members of the gay community suffered just for being themselves – the person God created them to be.”

“The theme, Coming out the Shadows reminds us that for many LGBTQIA+ people, life is still difficult with discrimination, homophobia and antipathy persisting.”

The Sexual Offences Act 1967 received Royal Assent on 27 July, fifty years ago. The Act did not legalise gay sex, but introduced an exemption from prosecution for men over the age of 21 having sex in private.  It was not until 2001, after losing a case in the European Court of Human Rights, that the then Labour government were compelled to repeal the criminalisation of homosexual acts.

The event at St Asaph Cathedral is open to all with representatives of police and local authorities in attendance.  It will begin with drinks and nibbles and a rainbow cake is being made specially for the occasion.   The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Nigel Williams, will welcome everyone to the event.

Coming out the Shadows on Thursday 19 October at St Asaph Cathedral is free and you can confirm your attendance at https://comingoutoftheshadows.eventbrite.co.uk