Editorial: We are in the election fever, when much is promised, but often not delivered after the election is over. We as voters must always ask ourselves why is this being said now, as in March 2015, Downing Street had said it had no current plans to alter its policy towards gay men convicted of crimes under draconian gross indecency laws but will “consider” a petition put forward by the codebreaker’s family to pardon 49,000 men. Think carefully about your vote, and make certain you know what your candidates views on LGBT matters are, as well as their party’s!
Cameron Pledges Pardons for ‘Outdated’ U.K. Gay-Sex Convictions
3:35 PM BST
April 14, 2015
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to posthumously pardon people convicted of historic gay-sex offenses if his Conservative Party wins the May 7 general election.
The commitment, which closely matches one made by opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband in March, would erase the criminal records of people if their activities would no longer be offenses, the Tories said in their manifesto published Tuesday.
“We will build on the posthumous pardon of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency, with a broader measure to lift the blight of outdated convictions of this nature,” according to the manifesto. The pioneering computer scientist received a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction in 2013, 59 years after his death.
The offense of gross indecency, which came into law in 1885, made sex between men illegal and was only overturned in 1967 when it became legal over the age of 21 without anyone else present. The age of consent was reduced to 16 — in line with heterosexual sex — in 2001.
The Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012 made it possible for living people convicted of “decriminalized consensual-sex offenses” to apply to the home secretary for their criminal records to be disregarded during checks by courts or on behalf of employers.
Thousands of British men still suffer from historic charges “even though they would be completely innocent of any crime today,” the Tories said. “Many others are dead and cannot correct this injustice themselves through the legal process we have introduced while in government. So we will introduce a new law that will pardon those people, and right these wrongs.”