It's time to say sorry to gay men, says human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

'The Commonwealth must speak out for LGBT rights', says leading human rights campaigner

LGBT rights should be discussed by the Commonwealth, says Peter Tatchell

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gay men want an apology in addition to posthumous pardons, according to a leading human rights campaigner.

Peter Tatchell spoke to James Whale after the government announced that thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of now-abolished sexual offences will receive posthumous pardons.

They will be pardoned under legislation which has been dubbed the "Turing law", after the World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing was pardoned in 2013.

Tatchell told James Whale: "Most gay men, I think, do feel that the pardon idea is a good one. But they also want an apology, and I think that is also something that the government needs to consider.

"There certainly is an argument that they deserve compensation."

Tatchell is also calling for the Commonwealth secretary general to speak out about current convictions in 38 member states. 

"Thirty-eight out of the 50 commonwealth member states still have a total prohibition on same sex relations, punishable by imprisonment, and in three countries of execution.

"There needs to be a common consensus among those progressive commonwealth countries that first of all LGBT rights needs to be discussed. We have a new commonwealth secretary general, Baroness Scotland, who does have a strong history of supporting LGBT communities, and it really is up to her to give a lead. We need to hear her speaking out."

Listen to the full interview to find out more