The day was particularly appropriate. There was a great deal of publicity for the 50th anniversary of the world's first working modern computer, which ran at Manchester on 21 June 1948. And at 10.30pm the night before, 22 June 1998, the House of Commons had voted by a large majority to change the law so that homosexual and heterosexual acts would alike be governed by an 'age of consent' of 16. It was recognised by all sides that the issue at stake was that of equality. (Note added later: the law was indeed finally changed on 30 November 2000, despite intense opposition from christian leaders in the unelected House of Lords.).
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