Stonewall warmly welcomes completion of parliamentary consideration of important measures to erase historic convictions for consensual gay sex.

The Protection of Freedoms Bill completed its Third Reading in the House of Lords last night, meaning it will soon become law. It includes amendments secured by Stonewall which will also enable gay men maliciously convicted of ‘loitering with intent’ under Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 to have them removed from their criminal record. Members on all sides of both Houses of Parliament have welcomed the measures.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re delighted by this victory for 21st-century justice over 19th-century morality. We know from speaking to many gay men that historic convictions for consensual sex are not only grossly unfair but that their presence on people’s records has dissuaded many men from applying for jobs or volunteering their time to good causes. We’re grateful that the Home Secretary responded to lobbying from Stonewall to widen the scope of the offences that will be repealed. We hope these important measures will be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity.’

Stonewall was asked to give evidence to the Public Bill Committee considering the Protection of Freedoms Bill on 24 March 2011.

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