Gay pardons are long overdue but the fight is far from over, says Peter Tatchell

'Pardon was very long overdue', says Peter Tatchell after thousands of gay men are posthumously absolved of past convictions

Turing's law came into operation yesterday, absolving the convictions of thousands of gay men convicted under old offences

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Campaigner Peter Tatchell has said the pardon of thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted under now-abolished sexual offences is "long overdue". 

Yesterday (Tuesday) 'Turing's law' came into operation, which issued posthumous pardons to scores of men who were convicted for offences while in consenting relations under laws which have now been repealed. 

Under those laws, it was a breach of the law to engage in "gross indecency with another man". 

A notable victim of these laws was Alan Turing, a codebreaker during World War Two, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952. After undergoing chemical castration, he died in an apparent suicide two years later. 

Tatchell, a prominent campaigner for human rights, said the pardon was something he'd campaigned to achieve for 30 years in an interview with James Whale and Ash Gould. 

He said: "This apology and pardon were very long overdue. We’ve been campaigning for this for 30 years.

"We’re talking about a pardon for between 50,000 to 100,000 men who were convicted under discriminatory anti-gay laws until the laws were repealed in 2003. 

"“We are making progress, but it is slow, and there's a long way to go globally."