Tory peer in Lords attempt to secure Northern Ireland gay pardons – Belfast Newsletter

Jeff-Dudgeon-MBE-gay pardons legislation

Jeff Dudgeon’s MBE comments re challenges to gay pardons legislation

A response from Jeff Dudgeon, in respect of the claim that Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 makes this problematic.

‘This, in my view, is an absolute  ridiculous argument. I wrote the amendments in such a way that they do not relate to the “sexual orientation” of a person convicted or cautioned. Both the pardons and the disregard scheme will be available to any “person” who has been convicted or cautioned. In respect of the main offences involved, that means: any person who has been convicted or cautioned for the offence of buggery (involving either opposite-sex or same-sex sexual acts); any person convicted or cautioned for the offence of gross indecency (this can only be same-sex acts because the offence only related to men). The term “gay pardons” is therefore misleading because the pardons will extend to any “person” (man or woman) falling within the ambit of the old law. There is no “discrimination” here!’

As you can see this proposed amendment is ‘fair to all’, and we believe that it should be passed…

The Lords and Gay Pardons LegisltionAn attempt to pardon men convicted in Northern Ireland before homosexuality was decriminalised has been launched in the House of Lords – but a QC has said that the proposal could be unlawful under equality law.

Source: Tory peer in Lords attempt to secure Northern Ireland gay pardons – Belfast Newsletter

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