PLP says one more step is needed in decriminalising homosexuality
Published: July 28 2017
On the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, PLP has written to the Home Secretary to ask her widen the scope of the ‘Turing Law’.
When the law was passed earlier this year, introducing pardons for men with historic convictions for gay sex offences, it was hailed as correcting a great injustice. However, to receive a pardon men first have to apply to the Home Office for their conviction to be ‘disregarded’. One offence which criminalised gay men, ‘importuning’, was excluded from the list of offences which could be disregarded under the scheme, despite having been repealed in 2003 on the basis that it was used in a discriminatory way to regulate same sex behaviour. Men with convictions for importuning are unable to apply to have them disregarded, and cannot be pardoned. They can also be required to disclose their convictions to employers. On behalf of our client, Terry Stewart, who was convicted on importuning in 1981, PLP has asked the Home Secretary to exercise her power to add this offence to the list of offences which can be disregarded, correcting this historic injustice.
You can read the letter here.