At last, justice in Germany


Nazi era gay prisoners with their pink triangles | Public domain | 17116

After decades of lobbying, Germany’s parliament has voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under the Nazi-era law known as article 175 of the penal code that remained in force after the second world war.

An estimated 5,000 of those found guilty under the statute are still alive, and can now clear their names.

Gay men convicted under the law are also to receive a lump sum of €3,000 and an additional €1,500 for each year they spent in prison.

Pardons by numbers

The “Turing Law”, or to give it its correct name the Police and Crime Act 2017, which grants automatic pardons to gay men who were convicted of obsolete sexual crimes under the old Sexual Offences Acts and who have since died, and allows living convictees to apply for a pardon, has received the Royal Assent.

Gay Activist understands that pardons have been automatically granted to 59,000 men who have died.

16,000 men who are still alive will be asked to fill out a form to have the conviction removed from criminal records.

Kiwis get Turing law


Amy Adams | Radio New Zealand | 17028

New Zealand will quash historical convictions for consensual sex between men. In 1986 the Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed, decriminalising sex between men above 16 years old.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said an application process will be introduced and cases will be judged individually.

Convictions for consensual sex between men prior to that will still appear in criminal history checks and may have to be disclosed in job applications.

About 1,000 people could be eligible to apply.

49,000 Cheers!


File photo | Haaretz | 17023

49,000 gay and bisexual men found guilty of decades-old sexual offences in England and Wales have been posthumously pardoned. The pardons were first announced last year and have now been officially rubber-stamped after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent.

The 49,000 men will be cleared of crimes of which they would be innocent today.

Statutory pardons will also be granted to people still living who apply to have their convictions removed. The men involved were found guilty of committing now-abolished offences while in consensual relationships.

Jeffrey wants action

Jeffrey Dudgeon, who fought to get homosexuality legalised in Northern Ireland, branded the Northern Ireland government a disgrace over its failure to grant pardons to gay men convicted of obsolete crimes.

Justice Minister Claire Sugden said her ministry would consider the matter.

Scotland’s gays to be pardoned

The Scottish government is to move to pardon men who were convicted of same-sex offences before laws against homosexuality were scrapped. Private homosexual acts between men aged over 21 were decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, but the law in Scotland was not changed until 1980.

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said it was “shocking” to consider that consensual sex between men was only decriminalised in 1980, and ages of consent not equalised until 2001. He said he was working with Police Scotland to have convictions disregarded, with an “automatic pardon” for those convicted of now-legal activity.

Some explaining to do, Sam

Justice Minister Sam Gyima on Friday filibustered a bill that would pardon gay men still alive but who were convicted in the past of now-abolished laws against homosexuality in the U.K.— a day after announcing that the government will back a previously proposed alternative.

Gyima stated that the government would not support a private members’ bill that sought to automatically pardon thousands of gay men who were still alive and had past convictions before homosexuality was decriminalized. To cries of “shame” in the House of Commons, Gyimah filibustered the bill on Friday afternoon.

Why a British Bill That Would Pardon Men Convicted of Overturned Gay Sex Law Was Filibustered

Pardons on the way .. some time

Proposals to introduce a new law to pardon gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws will be brought forward “in due course”, the government has said. It could see thousands of men pardoned for crimes of which they would be innocent today.

A government spokesman said it was “committed” to the proposal. “This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now. We will bring forward our proposals in due course.”

Under age sex gets soldier in trouble

Alexander Gemmell, 29, a gay soldier admitted having sex with an under-age boy he groomed on a dating website. They went to wasteland in Perth in a black Range Rover and engaged in sex acts. The youngster’s mother found he had taken an illegal drug and was told the soldier had given it to him.

Gemmell, who is based at Leuchars in Fife, started communicating with the boy online. Depute Fiscal Carol Whyte told Perth Sheriff Court: “The accused describes himself as a homosexual and sent correspondence to the boy on a chat site called Fab Guys. The boy’s mother questioned where he had got an illegal drug from and he said it was from a man he had been meeting for sex. The mother phoned the police and officers took away the boy’s phone and computer.”

The boy had told his mother he had joined the website to meet men for sex. Gemmell admitted sexual offences with an underage male between August 24 last year and January 24 this year. Sentence was deferred until October 12 for background reports and Gemmell was placed on the sex offenders’ register.