The UK is set to expunge the conviction of men who have criminal records for having gay sex when it was illegal or the gay age of content was higher that it is today, reports The Sunday Telegraph.
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 when applying for certain jobs or to volunteer for a charity.
In 1967 gay sex between men over the age of 21 was decriminalised in the UK. 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.
“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 earlier this year.
Legislation to expunge these men’s records is expected to be proposed by Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat equalities minister, in the coming days.