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Government to begin process to erase convictions for historic gay sex offences

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  1. Cameron: “it’s right that we should change the law and wipe the slate clean.”

    43 years a criminal. Now, not.

    Wipe the slate clean for the individual, or sweep under a rug for the government?

  2. Excellent news! – just hope they just get on with it and do it, the relgious CPs with music,symbols and text is about a year old now and still no mention of marriage equality – they don’t seem to be the fastest in the west !!….until these are done then I think the lib dems will contintue to be under fire!!

    I wonder if they will also ,in the freedom bill , cave in to the religious groups who want the word insulting removed from th public order offence so that street preachers can continue their offensive, harassing remarks to gays???

    “…the Party has changed” – yeah I think that is probably true but unfortunetely we have a whole load of conservative cronies still in the house of lords and a whole bunch of bishops all with voting power that hate all things “gay”….

    Sorry I still don’t know what Cameroon is suggesting in this satement – (he does realise CPs are not marriages and it’s a bit confusing for some of us to mix them up?) –

    ” …the whole idea of prejudice towards people on the basis of their sexuality is quite wrong and that’s why I back civil partnerships, why I told the Tory conference that commitment through marriage was equally valid whether between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman…”

  3. Teresa May announce this last mohth.Are the LibDems just playing catch-up?

  4. It’s symbolic but I’d like to see it done.

  5. Just another half-hearted attempt at pleasing gays! Like the ‘Parliamentary LGBT support network’ that is probably one or two MP’s that occasionally meets for dinner in the canteen.

  6. theotherone 26 Dec 2010, 7:00pm

    Yes Cleggy it’s just a half hearted attempt to allow Gay Men to get on with their lifes without being branded as Perverts, a half hearted attempt Labour wouldn’t attempt.

  7. Nobodies mentioned marriage equality? says John.

    Except Simon Hughes (after a question I asked him), Lynne Featherstone (who I’ve been bugging about it) and just the other day Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert.

    I think parliamentarians have spoken about marriage equality more times since the election than they did in the 13 years before hand.

    “Teresa May announce this last mohth.Are the LibDems just playing catch-up?”

    Actually this was announced in the Coalition agreement many months ago. So no, the Lib Dems aren’t playing catch up. They have the most liberal LGBT policy of the free main parties (although still falling behind the Greens).

    I’ve no problem with people being anti-Coalition, or anti-Tory. But please start being factual. And if you’re going to tilt at windmills please do what I do and write some letters to Ministers demanding they do more.

  8. Jae – I agree and have written letters but unlike you I haven’t received replies… marriage equality has NOT been mentioned as part of promoting gay rights, a question asked by Lord Avebury and answered only over a week ago clearly outlines what the LGBT agenda is for this coalition agreement , you do note that marriage equality is NOT in the answer?

    Lord Avebury to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to implement their commitment to gay rights. HL4991

    Baroness Verma: In June 2010, the Prime Minister reinforced the Government’s commitment to gay rights by launching an ambitious new work programme Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality. The Government are already making good progress towards implementing the commitments that it contains. For example, we have announced that the rights and freedoms Bill, which will be introduced in early 2011, will include the legislative changes needed to implement our commitment that historical convictions for consensual gay sex with over-16s will not show up on criminal records.
    We have also concluded the listening exercise that we said we would hold on the next stage for civil partnerships and we will announce the next steps in due course.
    In addition, last week the Government published the schools White Paper 2010, The Importance of Teaching, which explained how we will help schools to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying.
    Other measures that the Government will be taking to implement our commitments on gay rights will be outlined in the detailed action plan which will be published in due course.

    There is a BIG question on what the “other measures” means , we CAN NOT assume it means marriage equality!

  9. Based on the responses I’ve received from the Equalities Office, from Lynne Featherstone and from my MP I very much doubt the civil partnership consultation results will mention marriage equality.

    But I live in hope, and if they foolishly don’t use the consultation results as an opportunity to bring in proposals on marriage equality then at least we’ll have something firm to fight against.

    Until the results are announced I’m willing to give the Coalition the benefit of the doubt (on LGBT rights issues anyway…)

  10. Baroness Verma in her reply says they have concluded their listening exercise on CPs, I’m not sure what she means by announce next steps but I don’t think it will be marriage equality, I’m assuming she is referring to what symbols, relgious text and music will or will not be allowed??

    “…..We have also concluded the listening exercise that we said we would hold on the next stage for civil partnerships and we will announce the next steps in due course.”

    – until I hear a private bill or something more definite announced on marriage equality by this govt then I don’t think I could give them the benefit of the doubt…..

  11. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 27 Dec 2010, 1:32pm

    Long overdue!!!!

    Also I remember your promise back in March 2010 too David Cameron about inheritance tax cuts for people in civil partnerships as well (or did you forget that one promise???)

    Also you promised to “undertake a review” [whatever that means] to the civil marriage ban on same sex couples – or was that just another promise you forgot about????

    Also what the hell is the freedom bill – I have trying to look for it on the UK parliamentary website and I still can not find it!!!!?????

    If you find it please let me know!!!

  12. They way I see it, it was a crime when they committed the offence, so it’s still a crime.

  13. Instead there should be criminal penalties for hate speech. I think England has them, but they appear to be mild. And no relgiious exemption at all.

  14. Sister Mary Clarance 27 Dec 2010, 11:22pm

    Is it me or are a few people on here missing the point? The story is about wiping convictions for gay sex offenses. It isn’t about marriage equality, the gulf conflict or the instability in the former soviet republics.

    If pink news does run a story on marriage equality (or inequality) perhaps those comments might be more relevant. Here however they are not.

    As I recall, if the Tories got in the skies were going to cave in and we were all going to be shipped off to concentration camps on Canvey Island or somewhere, but it hasn’t happened. We are continuing to see refinements in UK legislation to make life fairer for gay people, and I think we (well some of us anyway) should start to be a bit more realistic and realise that Parliament has many pressing issued to address and this might mean that gay people don’t get everything exactly as they want it at the drop of a hat.

    Political will and public opinion is changing and I’m sure marriage equality isn’t that far off.

  15. I thought the point put forward by the govt was that this was one of things they had in mind when it came to advancing gay rights….This particular change isn’t news, it’s already been announced by Mae awhile ago…The news is what hasn’t been announced as part of the advancement of gay rights and as usual marriage equality is not part of it!. I wouldn’t regard anything they have done so far on the advancement of gay rights particulary speedy and it would be unrealistic for us to think that marriage equality will ever be introduced by simply just saying “oh well I’m sure we will eventually get it “. ..Look at the papers , marriage equality doesnt’ just happen… It’s also unrealistic to think that this isn’t our best chance of getting something done while we have the lib dems as part of govt…to wait until the tories have a majority govt could be disastrous…I think if we wait until then we won’t have marriage equality for a very long time…

    stevemd2 – yes, and as usual the so called relgious org CARE has got in there quickly and issued their anti-gay propaganda to get the word insulting removed from section 5 of the public order as part of the freedom bill…

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/joint-committees/human-rights/Christian_Institute_Submission_on_Freedom_Bill.pdf

  16. he doing this so willy haig can have a clean crb?

  17. Jock S. Trap 28 Dec 2010, 9:43am

    Good news.

    Good to see David Cameron keep to his election promise on this.

  18. Jock S. Trap 28 Dec 2010, 9:45am

    “Just another half-hearted attempt at pleasing gays!”

    Yeah because you’d prefer they did nothing but give you reasons to slag them off. Soooo very boring!

    Hypocrite.

  19. “We will change the law so that any past convictions for consensual homosexual sexual activities, which have since become lawful, will be treated as spent, and will not be disclosed on a criminal record check when applying for a job. This is a question of justice – and it’s right that we should change the law and wipe the slate clean.”

    Spent convictions are constantly revealed they are never spent. Allegations, rumours & gossip are constantly appearing on enhanced CRB’s and as yet this as not been changed. What this means until the section 113a & b of the Police Act 1997 is scrapped peoples lives will continued to be destroyed. This act allows the Chief officer to disclose any information he feels in his opinion might be true and this does not have to be a conviction so do not get to excited yet, Mr Cameron has not even shown courtesy to acknowledge a 24 paged petition by members of the crbforums.com that was sent months ago.

  20. Wiping the slate clean may not be an easy legislative process. Sex between two people respectively over and under the age of consent was a crime, even if consensual, because the younger could not lawfully give consent. So it was akin to rape. But there were also rapes between two people respectively over and under the age of consent where no consent was given. So how will the latter cases be distinguished from the former? Case by case examination? This makes for bad law.

  21. Sister Mary Clarance 29 Dec 2010, 2:29am

    “Look at the papers , marriage equality doesn’t just happen…”

    No you’re right John, it doesn’t just happen. Change is progressive and sometimes slower than people would wish for.

    We have civil partnerships which have been a step in the right direction, and these are commonly referred to as ‘marriage’ amongst the straight community, with a lot of straight people thinking they are marriage.

    Of course there is a small section of the gay community screaming blue murder if anyone calls a civil partnership a marriage, banging on about the fact that even though is bestows exactly the same rights on couples, its got a different name, so how can it possibly be the same yadah, yadah ……

    However, with such a large part of the straight community already thinking we have gay marriage, that final step from civil partnerships to fully fledged marriage should be all the easier.

  22. This announcement is partly good news – for some men with previous convictions for offences such as buggery and for consensual acts with men between the ages of 16 and 21. However, it’s not the entirely good news it’s trumpeted to be. The Government is NOT going to wipe the records of the vast majority gay and bi men who were convicted for ‘gross indecency’ – a law that was almost exclusively applied to homosexual offences. Over the years many thousands of men were convicted usually as a result of entrapment and discriminatory policing of cruising grounds and cottages. The Governments’ justification for not deleting these offences is that they still ‘might’ be offences under current Sexual Offences legislation, even though it’s very unlikely that men would be arrested and convicted today. Why is this important? If for example you were convicted of gross indecency in the 1980’s after being convicted for having consensual sex in a cruising ground you still have to declare it if you undergo even a standard CRB check. It will still be on your record forever and the police are obliged to disclose it forever. Many men will still continue to be discriminated against by employers [or similar] for having been convicted of a sexual offence and this is unlikely to change as a result of Government policy!

  23. Yeah, the Party has changed, which is why Theresa May, a woman who voted against every piece of pro-LGBT legislation in the past 20 years, is Equality Minister…

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