The House of Commons will debate what has been labelled the Turing Bill tomorrow, a bill proposed by John Nicholson MP.
But ahead of this, the UK Government announced a general posthumous pardon to all gay and bi men who were prosecuted during the 20th Century by unjust and discriminatory sexual offences laws, just as Alan Turing received an individual pardon in 2013. These laws like gross indecency were used by the criminal justice system to prosecute men for having or suggesting consensual sex with other men right the way up to 2003 when
We welcome this move. But we don’t think it goes far enough. As well as issuing a blanket pardon, John Nicholson MP’s proposed bill, closes a loophole which means some gay and bi men who are still alive and living with those convictions still can’t have them deleted, despite them being unjust and not illegal today. We urge the government to look at bringing this into their proposal.
We also don’t agree with the Government’s interpretation of John Nicolson MP’s Bill that a pardon that also includes people still living today is not possible because people who committed crimes that would still be illegal today would think they had been pardoned – John Nicolson’s Bill explicitly excludes pardoning anyone convicted of offences that would still be illegal today, including non-consensual sex and sex with someone under 16.
And we think it is the right time for the Government to combine this pardon with an apology to all those affected by these unjust laws.
The Private Members Bill sponsored by John Nicholson MP (SNP) and supported by MPs from all parties will enable the Government to fulfil its election manifesto pledge to issue a pardon to everyone convicted under old offences like gross indecency that were used by the criminal justice system to prosecute men for having or suggesting consensual sex with other men.
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/paul-twocock/alan-turing-pardon-bill_b_12573398.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics