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'Why was the Isle of Man government so slow to decriminalise homosexuality, and what implications did and has this had for the gay community on the Island?'

Date(s): 2016

Creator(s): Corlett, Henry James

Scope & Content: Essay submitted as coursework during a Politics BA (Hons) degree at Sheffield Hallam University. The author sought to better understand the debate that took place on the Isle of Man from the mid 1970s until the early 1990s over the issue of gay rights that led to decriminalisation of homosexuality, 25 years after the UK. The methodology was to interview the Isle of Man's Chief Minister Alan Bell and gay rights activist Alan Shea, watch videos of the events concerned and read up on historical facts relevant to the issue to mitigate the risk of bias. The analysis, recollections and opinions of the interviewees are relayed including the impact of policing of legislation, naming of individuals publically and ending of life of multiple people by their own hand.

Space is given to explore how matters have progressed for the gay community on the Island since homosexuality was decriminalised in 1992. This included the introduction of civil partnership and plans for a same-sex marriage Bill and Equality Bill to protect against discrimination in the workplace. The reflections of Chief Minister Bell and Alan Shea are recounted before the author concludes his analysis.

Language: English

Extent: 10 pages

Item name: essay

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: MS 14985

Record class: Private

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Viewable by request during library opening hours at the Manx National Heritage Library and Archives, Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


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