G ay men in England and Wales who were convicted of now-abolished sexual offences will receive an official pardon, the government has announced. There are currently thousands of men in the UK who were convicted under laws alan_turingwhich made consensual same-sex acts illegal, even though they are perfectly legal today. The un-equal age of consent and gross indecency laws were mostly used to convict the men. However, the crime of gross indecency which made sex acts between two men illegal, was repealed in 1969 while the age of consent was finally equalised in 2001. Currently any man convicted under either of the laws still has a criminal record.

Lib Dem peer Lord Sharkey, who proposed the amendment to the Policing and Crimes Bill, said it was “momentous”. The amendments has been dubbed ‘Turing’s Law’ after one of the most famous men to be convicted of gross indecency, codebreaker and mathematician Alan Turing. His own conviction was pardoned in 2013 in recognition of both the unfairness of the law at the time and also as recognition of his ground-breaking work during the war.

Of the 65,000 men convicted under the laws, 15,000 are still alive.

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Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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