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Cameron Election Pledges

Editorial:  We are in the election fever, when much is promised, but often not delivered after the election is over.  We as voters must always ask ourselves why is this being said now, as in March 2015,  Downing Street had said it had no current plans to alter its policy towards gay men convicted of crimes under draconian gross indecency laws but will “consider” a petition put forward by the codebreaker’s family to pardon 49,000 men.  Think carefully about your vote, and make certain you know what your candidates views on LGBT matters are, as well as their party’s!

Cameron Pledges Pardons for ‘Outdated’ U.K. Gay-Sex Convictions

Alan Turing was a pioneering computer scientist who received a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction in 2013, 59 years after his death.

Source: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images via Getty Images

 

 

3:35 PM BST
April 14, 2015

 

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to posthumously pardon people convicted of historic gay-sex offenses if his Conservative Party wins the May 7 general election.

The commitment, which closely matches one made by opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband in March, would erase the criminal records of people if their activities would no longer be offenses, the Tories said in their manifesto published Tuesday.

“We will build on the posthumous pardon of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency, with a broader measure to lift the blight of outdated convictions of this nature,” according to the manifesto. The pioneering computer scientist received a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction in 2013, 59 years after his death.

The offense of gross indecency, which came into law in 1885, made sex between men illegal and was only overturned in 1967 when it became legal over the age of 21 without anyone else present. The age of consent was reduced to 16 — in line with heterosexual sex — in 2001.

The Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012 made it possible for living people convicted of “decriminalized consensual-sex offenses” to apply to the home secretary for their criminal records to be disregarded during checks by courts or on behalf of employers.

Thousands of British men still suffer from historic charges “even though they would be completely innocent of any crime today,” the Tories said. “Many others are dead and cannot correct this injustice themselves through the legal process we have introduced while in government. So we will introduce a new law that will pardon those people, and right these wrongs.”

 

Further reading:

DUP stance fuels homophobia

The LGBT Rainbow

 

The LGBT Rainbow

 

HAVE YOUR SAY

I am amazed to read in the News Letter (February 21) that the DUP cannot see how their attitude can help create an atmosphere leading to the homophobic attacks on Paul Finlay-Dickson and his late partner.

When they say that it’s a “right” for people with strongly held personal beliefs to “object” to people of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual sexual orientation they cannot control how everyone outworks that objection?

DUP politicians have said that they find Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual , Transgendered (LGBT) people repugnant, can’t even say when challenged that they don’t object to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and some wish that civil partnerships hadn’t happened, all merely piles coals on the fire of homophobia.

Liberal Democrats believe nobody should be enslaved by ignorance, but the way the DUP talks about homosexuality as a threat to Christianity is instilling a dangerous, venomous and intolerant ignorance into some.

Paul Givan by currently going around saying that LGBT rights are greater than those of Christians is not just incorrect but so widely off the mark, thanks mainly to the DUP blocking any steps allowing LGBT rights to advance towards equality.

The DUP talk about competing rights, but sadly they have historically fought to maintain that the rights of LGBT people are not to be anywhere near equal to those the majority of Northern Ireland, and also well behind LGBT people elsewhere in the UK.

Their historical talking down and belittling of LGBT people is exactly what can lead to some going about these homophobic attacks.

The DUP only pay lip service to the equality provisions of the Northern Ireland Act for those of differing sexual orientation and constantly fail in taking action or speaking in a way that reflects that LGBT people are of value. Now they look to dismantle accommodations that have been made to deal with those competing rights, focusing only on the rights as laid out in Human Rights legislation but ignoring the responsibilities to respect the rights of others in the same articles.

Changing Attitudes Ireland are right to point out the way the words and actions of the DUP fuel the environment of homophobia across the province, especially as the DUP fail completely to converse on such issues.

Stephen Glenn

Bangor

LGBT Plus, Liberal Democrats Executive