Isle of Man to introduce gay pardon law
The Isle Of Man is set to introduce a gay pardon law as early as next year.
Juan Watterson, the former Home Affairs Minister, announced that he is pushing for the provision to be included in the new Sexual Offences Bill.
The bill, which is in it’s late stages, will be put to public consultation before the end of the year.
The announcement follows Theresa Mays pledge to implement the Alan Turing law. The code breaker was a key player in breaking the Nazis’ enigma code and took his life in 1954 after being convicted of gross indecency and undergoing chemical castration just two years before. He was pardoned for his homosexuality in 2013.
A petition that was signed by more than half a million people was presented to Downing Street by Turing’s family. The petition called for posthumous pardon of gay men.
The legislation being put in place will pardon over 49,000 men who were convicted of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967.
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Men who were prosecuted before homosexuality was decriminalised in the island could receive a pardon from the start of next year.
Despite England decriminalising homosexuality in 1967, the Isle of Man did not follow suit until 1992.
The Manx Rainbow association has campaigned for gay men who were prosecuted before the law was changed to be altered.
Lee Vorster, of the Manx Rainbow Association, said: “This is great news. We can’t move forwards without recognising and understanding our recent past. I can’t fathom what those in the LGBT community went through, just because of their sexuality. There was a large number of suicides after conviction.”
The first same-sex wedding took place at the beginning of August. The happy couple returned from their home in Manchester to marry on the island where they both grew up.