In August 1954 the Conservative Home Secretary, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, appointed a committee under Sir John Wolfenden "to consider the law and practice relating to homosexual offences and the treatment of persons convicted of such offences by the courts".
The Wolfenden report, or the ‘Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution’, to give it its correct title, was published on the 3rd September 1957. The committee report recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence". The armed forces were exempt from the recommendations. This contradicted the conventional ideas of the day and it was to be another 10 years until homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales with the passage of the Sexual Offences Act through parliament in 1967.
The report also found that homosexuality was not a disease and thus psychiatric care for gays was not needed, although gay men were still routinely offered aversion therapy as late as the 1980s, and the International Classification of Disease did not remove homosexuality until 1992