Sometimes it's too easy to forget just how unjust, cruel and outright barbaric we were only a short time ago.
As America basked in the teenage cultural revolution and England swung to a whole new beat, the vibe was much more grim down in New Zealand - particularly for gay people.
Author Joanne Drayton today recounts how anxiety about lesbianism and homosexuality had surged throughout the country during the 1950s and 1960s. Driven by two slayings, the public widely associated gay activity with a dark perverse otherworld where killers lurked.
As a result, homosexuals were routinely physicaly attacked. Such was the environment for Allan Aberhart, who was bashed to death near a public toilet in Christchurch's Hagley Park.
Aberhart had earlier been jailed for three months after admitting to police he'd had consensual sex with another man. Police charged him with indecent assault.
The Marlborough Express reported: "The accused had been full and frank with the police. If the accused had not made the statements about the incidents the prosecution may not have been brought."
As a relative told the Herald on Sunday this week, Aberhart understandably wanted name suppression at the time but he never attempted to conceal what had happened.
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"I think it really counts for something that he refused to lie or pretend to be straight in provincial New Zealand in 1963 and it cost him his freedom for three months, his character in the public eye, and ultimately it cost him his life."
New Zealand passed the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, which legalised consensual sex between men aged 16 and older, and Aberhart's offence was expunged posthumously under the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Act 2018.
Stigma and discrimination lingers. The so-called "provocation defence" under which many gay-bashers and killers walked or had charges downgraded was repealed in 2009 only after Otago University tutor Clayton Weatherston outrageously claimed he was provoked into stabbing Sophie Elliott 216 times.
We can do better but it's important to remember where we have been, and those who suffered.