Posthumous pardons for the UK’s now abolished historic gay sex offences

‘Turing’s Law’ was today given Royal Assent as thousands of men convicted of historic gay sex offences were posthumously pardoned  by the UK Government.

The Policing and Crime Bill became law meaning amendments pardoning those convicted of being in consensual same-sex relationships were now in place. The new amendment known ‘Turing’s Law’ is named after World War Two codebreaker and grandfather of the modern computer Alan Turing.

Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 but was granted a one-off posthumous royal pardon in 2013 in recognition of services to his country during the Second World War. It was Alan Turing’s pardon that fuelled the desire of the LGBT community to fight for this sweeping change in UK law for every man convicted of historical gay sex offences that now no longer exist.

This new law only covers those who are deceased,  anyone living who has been convicted of these now abolished offences could already apply through the Home Office to have their names cleared and criminal records expunged, under a process introduced by the Coalition government’s 2012 Protections of Freedoms Act.