Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland apologised on 7th November 2017 to those who have been convicted in the past for same-sex sexual activity.
You can watch her statement and those of other MSPs here.
The Equalities and Human Rights Committee in the Scottish Parliament has now asked for your views as the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament.
The Bill proposes granting a pardon to all men convicted of consensual same-sex activity under old discriminatory laws and, if applied for, a legal disregard. A disregard would mean that their criminal record would not be considered if a background check were carried out. The pardon will also apply posthumously.
Christina McKelvie MSP , the committee convener said:
“This Bill sets out to correct a historic injustice by ensuing that convictions don’t continue to harm the lives of men convicted of acts which are no longer a crime.
“It is very important that we learn the lessons of how these discriminatory laws impacted on the lives of people so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
“As a Committee, we will be spending a few months looking at the details of the Bill so we can consider any areas which may need to be improved or changed. We want to hear from anyone who has a view on the Bill.
“We are especially anxious to hear from men who will receive a pardon and who may wish to apply for a disregard of their criminal records. If you, or someone close to you, will be impacted by the Bill we urge you to take part in our work. We will treat your personal stories with sensitivity.”
How to contribute your views
The closing date for making a submission in Friday 19 January 2018.
You can make a submission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also write to:
Clerk to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee
Edinburgh EH99 1SP
It’s hard to believe that it’s not very long ago, that people lived in fear of being ‘found out’, and, if they were ‘found out’, the effect it could have on their lives.
That folk should still have a ‘criminal record’ for something which is no longer considered to be criminal, is entirely wrong an un-fair. It was unfair that they should aquire a criminal record in the first place, and now, even more so.