GAY MEN TO APPLY TO CLEAR GAY SEX CONVICTIONS
Tue, 4 September 2012
The process to allow UK men who were convicted of having consensual gay sex, before it was legalised, to expunge their criminal records has finally been announced.
Even though the law has changed since their conviction, the men - believed to number in their thousands - are still required to disclose their criminal records relating to these convictions when applying for certain jobs or to volunteer for a charity.
The intention to allow these men to clear their names was first announced by the UK's Home Office in 2010.
"It is not fair that a man can be branded a criminal because 30 years ago he had consensual sex with another man," said Home Secretary Theresa May at the time.
The process was made legal under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which was given Royal assent on 1 May this year.
According to The Guardian, from October, men who were convicted for gay sex will be able to apply to have their criminal records erased through the Home Office, which will work with Her Magesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Each case will be considered by caseworkers. The final approval will be made by the home secretary. If successful, the conviction will no longer appear on the men’s criminal records certificate.
Gay sex between men over the age of 21 was decriminalised in the UK in 1967. The gay age of consent was later lowered to 18 in 1994 and 16 in 2000, bringing it in line with the heterosexual age of consent.