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Remove Gross Indecency Convictions from all records

Comment 23rd August 2010

The European Court of Human Rights in the case ADT versus The UK (July 2000) found the old gross indecency law (men who have sex with other men – consenting adult sex) to be contravene human rights.

The UK government repealed the gross indecency law, which only applied to gay male sex, in December 2000. Yet those historic convictions remain in place on police and court records to be used over and over again to perpetuate the discrimination against gay men who engaged in consensual adult sex.

Amending the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (which is in the Coalition Agreement) does nothing to remove those records from the PNC, court records, and other local police records -and DNA,  fingerprint and photo databases.

Remove all records relating to the decriminalised offence of gross indecency.

Why does this matter?

If we really want to stop perpetuating the discrimination against gay men with old gross indecency offences (for engaging in consensual adult gay sex) and to ensure they can put their past behind them, then we must destroy these old records.

Furthermore, by leaving these records in place, they risk being shared by police forces with other PNC users and other police forces around the world -with countries that still have a very different idea of gay male sex.

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