Excellent news that the government is set to accept an amendment put down by the Liberal Democrats to the Police and Crime Bill:
Tens of thousands of men are to be posthumously pardoned for convictions under long-abolished laws that criminalised homosexuality, it has been announced.
The pardons also apply to men still living who were convicted of offences before homosexual acts were decriminalised in 1967.
It has been dubbed the “Alan Turing Law”, after the Second World War computer scientist who was among the most prominent people to be convicted for a homosexual act. He received a pardon in 2013. [Huffington Post]
Tim Farron has commented,
The Liberal Democrats continue to be the strongest voice on equality in and out of Parliament.
This was a manifesto commitment which even in opposition, thanks to the tireless work of John Leech alongside our MPs and peers, we have been able to deliver on.
The reference to John Leech is to his work as an MP on the campaign to get Alan Turing pardoned and then followed up by turning to the wider pardon campaign. John Sharkey also played a key role in the Turing campaign in the Lords with his Private Member’s Bill. He says of the news:
This is a momentous day for thousands of families up and down the UK who have been campaigning on this issue for decades. I am very grateful for the Government’s support and the support of many of my colleagues in Parliament.
It is a wonderful thing that we have been able to build on the pardon granted to Alan Turing during Coalition by extending it to the thousands of men convicted of sexual offences that existed before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967 and which would not be crimes today.