Sunday 29 October 2017

Gay Men To Receive Scottish Government Apology And Removal Of 'Criminal Records'

Nicola Sturgeon, the current first minister of Scotland, will represent the Scottish government in apologizing to gay men convicted of now-abolished sexual crimes. The apology will happen on November 7 at Holyrood, where the new legislation will be announced. 

This new law will also remove criminal records of those who were previously convicted for such offences. In October last year, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson had already confirmed the legislation as he announced plans for automatic pardons.


A spokesperson of the Scottish government said, "The apology will be made on behalf of the Scottish government for the treatment of homosexual men under previous governments and will coincide with the introduction of legislation to provide people convicted under these laws an automatic pardon."

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network, added: "The apology is important because it shows that it was the discriminatory laws that were wrong, and not the consensual relationships that were made criminal by those laws.

"We look forward to seeing the detail of the bill.

"If it implements the policy announced by the Scottish government, it will be a hugely important statement that Scotland regrets the discrimination of the past, and now considers its LGBTI people to be fully equal citizens who deserve equal respect.

"It will also be of direct practical importance to people who currently have one of these convictions show up on criminal record checks for jobs or volunteer posts."

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