Report: UK To Remove Gay Sex Crimes From Records

The Sunday Telegraph reports that UK equalities minister Lynne Featherstone will announce in the new year that gay men who have had consensual sex with a male partner over the age of 16 prior to the increase in the age of consent 10 years ago will have their crimes wiped from their records.

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f209813c970b-300wi The move will benefit thousands of men who were prosecuted for gay sex with someone over 16 during decades when the practice was against the law.

Currently, they must disclose the information as part of the programme of Criminal Records Bureau checks if they apply to work or volunteer for charities and other organisations.
Getting such a conviction expunged currently requires a lengthy process involving a personal application to a local chief constable.

As the Telegraph explains: "Consensual sex between two men over 21 was decriminalised in 1967. It was not until 1994 that the homosexual age of consent was reduced to 18, and 2000 when it was finally brought into line with the law for heterosexuals by being cut to 16."

As had been reported over the summer, Featherstone is also expected to announce that same-sex civil partnership ceremonies will be allowed in churches all over the UK for the very first time.


  1. says

    I’m glad that in some places the present is secure enough that we can start to fix the past. There’s sure a lot of past that needs fixin’.

  2. BobN says

    “prior to the increase in the age of consent”

    You mean “decrease”.

    And isn’t it refreshing to see how a decent country deals with these issues. Like Canada and other countries, the UK follows up when it changes policies. They try to fix the injustices of the past. Here in the U.S., we just pretend they never happened.

    And isn’t it AMAZING to see this happen under a Tory government.

  3. Atheist says

    rowan – the clue is in the word coalition; its a joint effort. the lib dems wouldnt be able to do this on their own without the support of the tories. good grief, lets at least give some credit when its due.