Britain to expunge gay-sex convictions

by Rex Wockner

International News Briefs

British Home Secretary Theresa May said June 16 that Britain will expunge the criminal records of men convicted of having gay sex when it was illegal.

The action applies to anyone whose partner was at least 16 years old at the time.

Britain decriminalized gay sex in 1967 and set the age of consent at 21, then later lowered it to 16.

"I'm proud of the fact that Britain is a world leader for LGB and T equality, but we must not be complacent," said May, who also is minister for women and equality. "In this country and around the world, too many LGB and T people still face discrimination based on outdated prejudices, and that has to stop. ... It's not fair that a man can be branded a criminal because 30 years ago he had consensual sex with another man."

The action on criminal records is one piece of a new governmentwide program to tackle prejudice against LGBT people, the Home Office said.

The initiative also includes "new work to end the blight of homophobic bullying in schools, work to allow same-sex couples to register their relationships in a religious setting, lobbying other countries to repeal homophobic legislation and recognize UK civil partnerships, (and) ending the removal of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution."

"We're working to make Britain a place where everyone is treated fairly and everyone has an equal chance in life, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity," May said. "This ambitious program of work is the first step on that journey."

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Pride Guide
Lake Effect

Hot off Season 7 of the LOGO channel's "Ru Paul's Drag Race" phenomenon, Darienne Lake of Season 6 spoke with Between the Lines about her upcoming hosting gig at Motor City Pride June 6.

View More Pride Guide
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!