MPs and LGBT campaigners have slammed the decision to block a vote
A private members bill aiming to erase the criminal records of gay men convicted of now-defunct sexual offences was talked out by Tories in the House of Commons this afternoon.
MPs shouted at Conservative minister Sam Gyimah to sit down as the cut-off time for SNP MP David Nicolson’s bill approached. However, the justice minister continued to speak, a vote was not called and the bill fell. If passed, it would have cleared the way for a pardon of nearly 50,000 men living with convictions for consensual homosexual activity.
Bitter scenes from the Commons as #TuringBill runs out of time as minister speaks pic.twitter.com/h1qZjSGAT0
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) October 21, 2016
Gyimah claimed that the government had already fulfilled its manifesto commitment to formally pardon those convicted under now-abolished laws, firstly by introducing a posthumous pardoning process, and secondly by allowing gay men to apply to have their convictions disregarded.
The government argues that a blanket pardon could lead to some men being pardoned for actions that are still crimes today, although the bill included a clause excluding those convictions from the pardon.
Campaigners and MPs from across the opposition have slammed the filibuster.
John Leech, a former Lib Dem MP who tabled the motion on Alan Turing’s pardon in 2012, commented:
“For years I have campaigned and fought for this moment and this could have been a hugely historic and proud day. Instead, it is adding further frustration and heartache to those affected and their families, not to mention the sheer embarrassment to this country.
It is 2016 and there are more than 75,000 people still convicted of just loving someone, it simply beggars belief! I am absolutely gutted and devastated at the result today, and completely ashamed of our government.”
Labour’s Wes Streeting, who intervened during Gyimah’s speech to warn him against talking the bill out, described the government’s actions as ‘a disgrace’.
Today @SamGyimah came to work to block a Bill to deliver justice for ppl imprisoned and chemically castrated for being gay. What a guy.
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) October 21, 2016
‘No tricks. No games’ is what the government told @MrJohnNicolson. Shameful and dishonourable behaviour from them today #TuringBill
— Stewart McDonald MP (@StewartMcDonald) October 21, 2016
The #TuringBill was a chance for the Tories to show they have moved on from the dark days of homophobic #section28. They utterly failed.
— Nick Forbes (@nick_forbes) October 21, 2016
Earlier in the debate, Chris Bryant fought back tears as he argued for the bill, invoking the memory of gay parliamentarians who fought appeasement in the 1930s, but were dismissed by the government as ‘glamour boys’.
Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.
17 Responses to “Tories filibuster ‘Turing Bill’ – denying pardons to 50,000 living gay men”
Convictions under laws predating these changes (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-lindsay2/jeremy-corbyn-sex-work_b_9384762.html) ought to be annulled by Act of Parliament along with those of men whose homosexual acts would not be criminal offences today.
Labour should vote against that unless it also annulled, not only all convictions in the categories set out in the above link, but also all convictions and other adverse court decisions arising out of Clay Cross, Shrewsbury, Wapping, and the three Miners’ Strikes since 1970.
This would set the pattern for all future feminist and LGBT legislation. Without a working-class quid pro quo, then Labour would vote against any such legislation. Alongside the DUP, the Tory Right, or whoever. It is not Blair’s Labour Party now.
“@Mick ,and if straight people where being prosecuted for doing the same you may have had a point, but exactly 0 straight people where prosecuted under that law, [email protected] ,and if straight people where being prosecuted for doing the same you may have had a point, but exactly 0 straight people where prosecuted under that law, none.”
Lies. Straight people were arrested for dogging all the time. This is another shabby attempt to make shabby behaviour somehow a bit Rosa Parks.
“Labour should vote against that unless it also annulled, not only all convictions in the categories set out in the above link, but also all convictions and other adverse court decisions arising out of Clay Cross, Shrewsbury, Wapping, and the three Miners’ Strikes since 1970.”
There you have it. Further evidence that offences are only truly real if lefties put their morality stamp to them.
Such arrogance is partly how the ‘true workers party’ is out of national power more than in it.
I’m not surprised this revolting person blocked this. But anyway excepting a pardon admits guilt. These people have not committed a crime so they can shove their pardon up this ministers bottom. He would probly enjoy it
Tories filibuster ‘Turing Bill’ – denying pardons to 50,000 living gay men – Snapzu World News
[…] View Full Post […]