Isle of Man to pardon people convicted for outdated homosexual crimes

The new legislation pardoning those convicted for historical sexual offences is expected to come into force in June.

Two arms breaking free from handcuffs as the Isle of Man announces pardons for homosexual crimes.
Image: Pexels

People who have previously been convicted in relation to homosexual acts in the Isle of Man will receive a pardon under the new legislation. Homosexuality was decriminalised thirty years ago on the island in 1992, and this new act pardons all historical sexual offences so long as they are no longer a crime.

Justice and Home Affairs Minister, Jane Poole-Wilson, expects that the new legislation will come into play in June at the latest. While the pardons will be automatic, those with historical convictions will have to apply for the amendments to their records in a “disregard process”.

The announcement comes two years after the Isle of Man’s then Chief Minister, Howard Quayle, apologised for the treatment of gay men in the nation, recalling home raids and trials as a result of consensual sexual activity.

“Our previous laws discriminated against and criminalise men solely for who they were and who they loved,” he began.

“The previous laws reflect a different time, a different place. An island of the past. Those who were convicted of these crimes, and their loved ones, should no longer have to shoulder the burden of guilt. They should be seen as innocent. 

“All those people affected – the men themselves, their partners, wider family and friends – they deserve an unqualified apology from us,” the former Chief Minister concluded.

Speaking on the news, LGBTQ+ activist Alan Shea said: “It’s good that people are finally being pardoned, but we are still waiting for an apology from the chief constable of the Isle of Man police to apologise for the way the force persecuted gay people.”

He added that “Many of [those affected] are still haunted with memories of what happened.”

The decision from the Isle of Man to pardon those convicted for homosexual acts comes after the UK Government made a similar announcement earlier this year.

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