Long pleased by homosexual offences pardon move

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has welcomed news gay and bisexual men convicted of abolished homosexuality offences may be pardoned.

Justice Minister Claire Sugden confirmed today a motion will go before the Assembly for approval, to bring Northern Ireland into line with England and Wales, where similar pardons were announced last month. It will allow for pardons both posthumously and for living gay and bisexual men, and has been labelled Turing’s Law, after Alan Turing, who was pardoned for gross indecency in 2013.

“Last month, I tabled an urgent question to the Justice Minister, as well as writing to the Secretary of State and UK Government, to ask how they would ensure the pardon would be extended here,” said Mrs Long.

“I am pleased the Minister has now secured Executive agreement to bring a legislative consent motion in order to pardon these men.

“They were convicted of a crime which should never have been an offence in the first place. I believe as well as a pardon, an apology from the Government should also be given to those who did nothing other than form consenting relationships with other adult males.

“The hurt caused by these convictions may never be eradicated but a pardon and apology could go a long way to making amends.”

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