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LGBTI law: Criminal history

Subjects: Law

Other jurisdictions

Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi (2009) 160 Delhi Law Times 277

Turing's Law

 Pardons for certain abolished offences in England & Wales

Section 164 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 enshrined, in legislation, pardons for those convicted of consensual same-sex relationships in past years. It came into force on 31 January 2017 when the Bill received Royal Assent. (The amendments were first tabled by Lord Sharkey, Lord Cashman and Lord Lexden with government support.)
Those convicted but still living are required to apply through the Home Office’s disregard process to have their historic convictions removed. See second link below.

1957 onwards

1957: The Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain (chaired by Sir John (later Lord) Wolfenden published its conclusions at the end of an inquiry lasting three years.  (The Committee had 13 members,  including judges, doctors, MPs, lawyers, ministers of religion and women.(A classification which is a commentary on the period!)) Its principal conclusion was that consulting adults (ie over 21) should be free to make their own decisions on matters of private morality.
The conclusion was supported, among leading voices, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the British Medical Association, the Howard League for Penal Reform and the National Association of Probation Officers.
It was not adopted by the government.

KB accounts of particular trials. Predominately UK.

KM544 Homosexuality as a sexual offence Not just E&W but also Australia, Canada, Ireland, NZ, and USA.

 

Pre 1957

"Buggery is a detestable and abominable sin, amongst Christians not to be named, committed by carnal knowledge against the ordinance of the creator, and order of nature, by mankind with mankind, or with brute beast, or by womankind with brute beast." 2 Coke's Institutes (Ed. 1797), Part III, 58

1781 Jeremy Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

1841 Abolition of the Punishment of Death Bill had a section to remove the death penalty for sodomy. It was passed by the House of Commons (123 votes to 61) but failed in the House of Lords at the final reading stage.

1861 Offences Against the Person Act,  death penalty was abolished for acts of sodomy – but punishable by a minimum of 10 years imprisonment.

1864 Royal Commission on Capital Punishment

1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act made any male homosexual act illegal – whether or not a witnessed. Private acts, such as affectionate letters between men, could result in prosecution.

Lesbianism was first discussed in Parliament in 1921 during the stages of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, but its inclusion was rejected.