In a long-awaited triumph for the U.K.’s LGBTQ community, the government on Tuesday announced that anyone convicted of consensual same-sex activity under now-defunct laws will soon be eligible to be pardoned and have their records wiped clean.
This week’s announcement follows a less-expansive 2017 measure that was limited to nine former offenses that targeted gay and bisexual men. The new amendment will widen the criteria to anyone officially warned or convicted for an abolished civil or military offense that was imposed due to consensual gay sex.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel at a media briefing at Downing Street last January.Matt Dunham / WPA Pool/Getty Images file
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement that it was only right that where offenses have been abolished, “convictions for consensual activity between same-sex partners should be disregarded, too.”
“I hope that expanding the pardons and disregards scheme will go some way to righting the wrongs of the past and to reassuring members of the LGBT community that Britain is one of the safest places in the world to call home,” she said.
ACLU Sues South Carolina: Man Kept On Sex Offender List For 2001 Consensual Gay Sex Conviction; Was Pardoned in 2006; Sodomy Laws Tossed, 2003 (towleroad.com 1/4/22)