Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and Gil Paterson MSP have welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government will bring forward a Scottish ‘Turing Law’ to pardon automatically gay and bisexual men convicted for same-sex sexual activity under homophobic laws which are no longer on the statute book.
Under the Scottish Government’s proposed legislation all those who have convictions for same-sex sexual activity that is now lawful will automatically be pardoned. Separately the Scottish Government has also been engaging with Police Scotland over the summer to identify the most effective way to ensure those convictions no longer appear on a person’s criminal record.
Recently, the UK Government used archaic debate rules in the House of Commons to ‘talk out’ the SNP’s John Nicholson MP, ensuring that a similar Bill from the SNP could not be voted on at Westminster.
Commenting Gil Paterson MSP said:
“This is a very welcome announcement from the Scottish Government and an historic moment for LGBTI equality in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government is taking a sensible and comprehensive approach to righting this wrong; the SNP once again showing great leadership and setting a positive example for the rest of the UK.
“We have made huge progress towards achieving LGBTI equality in recent years, with improvements in laws and attitudes that have seen Scotland recognised as the fairest country in Europe for LGBTI legal rights.”
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP added:
“The criminalisation of gay and bisexual individuals, who were cautioned and convicted under homophobic laws that banned sex between consenting same sex adults is a blemish on our history and it is right that we now address this injustice with a full and automatic pardon, and a system that allows people to have these discriminatory convictions removed from their records.
”While there is still more to do before LGBTI people will have full equality, this is an important step towards the fair and equal Scotland we all want to see.
“The SNP will continue working in Westminster to push the UK Government to amend the law to ensure that the rest of the United Kingdom follow Scotland’s lead and move towards creating a fairer, more equal society.”