Calls for living gay men to be automatically pardoned of abolished sexual offences

UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

15,000 gay men in England and Wales have yet to be pardoned for convictions under an old law that criminalised sex between two men.

Back in January of this year, the Home Office awarded thousands of pardons to the deceased men who were convicted as a result of having sex with the same sex.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which partially decriminalised sex between two men over the age of 21 in England and Wales.

However, 15,000 of the 65,000 men who were convicted are still living with a record for breaking the old law.

 

via Flickr

If these men want a clean record, they would have to apply to have their convictions deleted.

A charity has called for an automatic pardon for the living men, just like that awarded to the deceased.

According to Mabli Jones (campaign, policy and campaign manager at Stonewall Cymru), men should not have to live with convictions that are no longer valid according to a 2012 change in the law.

Mabli Jones told the following to BBC News:

The change in the law was obviously a big step forward and we welcomed that and we were part of campaigning.But there were so many men unjustly persecuted by these laws and they deserve to get them removed.

Words Ifan Llewelyn

Related: GERMANY TO OFFICIALLY PARDON OVER 50,000 GAY MEN WHO WERE CONVICTED UNDER NAZI-ERA LAW