With a unanimous vote in the Scottish Parliament the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill was passed on Wednesday 6th June 2018.
In 1967 the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21 in England and Wales. Homosexual activities were legalised in Scotland — on the same basis as that which was used for the 1967 Act — by Section 80 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980, which came into force on the 1st February 1981. LGBT rights in Scotland
Gay and Bi Sexual Men will receive pardons for historical convictions and this will also be removed from criminal records.
Michael Matheson, Justice Secretary in the Scottish Parliament said:
“This marks a key moment where we address a historic wrong, where the law criminalised people simply because of their sexual orientation. This bill can itself not right the massive injustice caused by laws that helped foster homophobia and hatred, criminalised acts between consenting adults, and stopped people from being themselves around their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues.”
Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, said:
“We very much welcome the Parliament passing this bill unanimously. This is concrete recognition of the huge harm that was done to people who were prosecuted or lived under these old laws. Together with the First Minister’s apology, the message is that Scotland has changed for good, and that discrimination is no longer acceptable.
“But LGBTI people continue to face prejudice and hostility, and there is much more to do. We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government, on the forthcoming reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and other work to address homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and to promote fairness for all.”
You can read the official report of the debate here: Official Report