Scotland Apologizes For Gay Sex Convictions

Reuters reports:

Scotland’s devolved government issued an apology on Tuesday to men convicted in the past for same-sex activity and passed a new law which will allow them to clear their names.

“It is only right that we address this historic wrong,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament. Discriminatory laws, although abolished, continue to have implications for people to this day,” she added. “The wrong has been committed by the state to them, not by the individuals.”

She added: “I categorically, unequivocally and wholeheartedly apologize for those laws and for the hurt and the harm they did to so many.” Watching from the gallery, same-sex couples wept, held hands and applauded.

  • Stogiebear

    If we did that here Dump would just unapologize and have the convictions reinstated.

    Kudos Scotland!

  • Natty Enquirer

    Another pardon scheme. “We’re so sorry and we forgive you.”

  • Ninja0980

    Never too late to right a wrong.

    • MBear

      The wrong has yet to be righted

    • clay

      It’s too late when they’re dead.

  • Lazycrockett

    Good for her, she usually comes off as a complete nutter. I’ll post a Tracey Ullman video in a bit.

  • Boreal

    The govt should clear their names for them. They should not have to do a thing including spending their time or money on such an effort.

    • ChrisMorley

      There isn’t a quick and simple legislative fix.
      For example, the laws used to convict men applied whatever the age of the male partner (including under age boys).
      A blanket amnesty would clear some men of acts that are still criminal.

      • zhera

        Then the government should go through each and every case, regardless without first being asked to do so. THAT would be the right thing to so.

        • ChrisMorley

          I simply wouldn’t trust them to do that accurately, nor within a reasonable time frame before the remaining men die.
          We know they are repeatedly wrongly refusing UK citizenship to European residents here who are plainly entitled.
          Austerity cuts mean the necessary quality of service and the organisational capacity to review all the legal records simply don’t exist.

          • JackFknTwist

            And in a thousand years they will find excuses and obstacles to doing the right thing.
            We have learned about these obfuscators long ago.

      • Boreal

        I understand. They should appoint people who will work to clear the men convicted of consensual sex with another man at the govt’s cost.

      • BobSF_94117

        In much of the period we’re talking about the age of consent was a lot lower than today. Chances of accidentally exonerating a true sex criminal are minimal. Why must thousands go through the renewed humiliation of asking just to avoid wiping out a handful of legit convictions from 50-70 years ago?

  • Treant

    Couldn’t they blanket clear those convictions? Too chancy that you’ll get somebody nasty who “deserves” to be railroaded?

    I see.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Exactly. The convictions should be set aside and all the records expunged. Instead, they will make convicts jump through bureaucratic hoops to obtain a pardon.

    • j.martindale

      Some of the convictions may have been a plea bargain down from, say, a sexual assault, or have other circumstances, like public lewdness, as part of the charges. There may be mitigating circumstances to consider.

      • Treant

        Yep, so sit a junior cop down in each precinct on Saturdays and have them go through the records one by one. There can’t be that many.

        As far as “other circumstances,” either something is legal or it isn’t. You can keep the public lewdness while getting rid of “poked a guy with his dick.”

        • canoebum

          I’m not conversant with Scottish law, but here in the US, if you have a prior conviction which can be mitigated, you apply directly to the courts, not the police.

          • Treant

            Then let the courts appoint somebody whose job it is to undo these convictions.

      • BobSF_94117

        I think it’s highly unlikely that the police would downgrade charges for gay men. Quite the opposite actually. But if they chose to 50 years ago, who are we to worry that maybe they shouldn’t have and that person might have been more guilty than the charges, so we shouldn’t lift them.

        • j.martindale

          The fact remains, each conviction may have a victim, so each decision should be treated separately. You may not agree. I find it a prudent approach, even when trying to correct a wrong.

          • BobSF_94117

            I think you also have to consider the likely outcome of a true rape on a boy or a case of a true pedophile in the “criminal justice” system of 70 years ago. Those men would have been convicted of far worse charges, if not killed “by accident” in jail.

  • MBear

    Reparations or fuck off

  • GayOldLady

    I’m glad this happened but I’m still carrying a big chip on my shoulder. How about all the years of legal and emotional abuse all Western Governments inflicted on the LGBT community? Can you give mothers their children back? Can you give LGBT workers their jobs back. Can you give LGBT citizens their homes back? Can you give LGBT victims of hate crimes their lives back, their emotional health back? Can you fix the society that still treats us like pariahs?

    • Treant

      No, but…er…we’re really sorry. Apply for a pardon. We’ll serve you when your number comes up.

      https://i.imgflip.com/1sxdh2.jpg

      • GayOldLady

        I know! I still feel resentment toward those people who shut me out of their lives, who shut me away from my family, who stopped being my friend, who treated my cousin who died of AIDS and I like we were monsters. I had one family member call me on the day of the Marriage Equality SCOTUS decision and cry, telling me how sorry she was that my family had treated me and my cousin so badly. She excused her own behavior with “it was different in those days”. Yes it was different and now here we are, in our 70’s and she’s sorry? As far as my family is concerned after 50 years of being a pariah, it was far too little, way too late. All I care about now is equality in the law. Don’t tell me, SHOW ME!

        • JackFknTwist

          Likewise.
          I cannot find space in my heart to forgive.

        • Lars Littlefield

          You know that platitude of Alexander Pope’s people love to throw about, “To err is human, to forgive is divine?” Don’t believe it. It’s total fucking bullshit. I’m on your side GOL.

          • GayOldLady

            It’s one thing to forgive transgressions that didn’t last a lifetime, it’s another to forgive those that tortured you for decades. I don’t want revenge, I just want parity and justice in the law and to be left alone by all those people who willfully participated in our repression.

          • Lars Littlefield

            I don’t forgive stupidity. As for those who tortured me and discriminated me for decades, well . . . I want fucking blood. As much as possible. I want them all to suffer such intense emotional pain that all they can do is sit around and just stare into space.

          • GayOldLady

            My hope is for reincarnation as the people they oppressed and tormented. I’ve never been any good at revenge, but I have been excellent at hoping for Karma.

          • Sporkfighter

            “My hope is for reincarnation as the people they oppressed and tormented.”

            Where do you think Milo came from?

          • JackFknTwist

            And I want them all to know I despise them for what was done to gays…….I want them to see me weep for Alan Turing…..I want them to know that they were led by that thundering b itch Margaret Thatcher,……..I want them to know that their instincts were pure bigotry. I want them to be f ucking ashamed !

            It the past I have often wondered where I would have stood if I were a German in the thirties; from the experience of years of my lived life I know damn well I would have resisted the bigots, the c unts, the wave of self satisfied smug superiority.
            And so i resolved, many years ago, never to join a witch hunt, never to jump on a band wagon.
            I truly believe that most gays feel the same.
            We have come to know repression intimately. And because of that learning process we have empathy in buckets.
            OK, that’s a big generalisation, but that’s how I cope with my history of the last few decades.

    • MBear

      Too little – too late comes to mind

    • JackFknTwist

      Friend, I couldn’t agree with you more.
      The emotional damage of hiding in my professional life, of being a criminal for a long period of my career, with the accompanying fear of arrest and disgrace, then being”queer bashed” twice………………
      Yes, there is all the damage listed by you above ……and nobody can give any of it back to LGBT citizens.
      _________________________________________________

      I would prefer that society says:
      “We have learned. We will never treat a minority, or anyone, in that manner again. What were we thinking of? Were we just as bad as the Nazis? Were we as bad to the gays as the Nazis were in the thirties to the Jews , throwing them out of jobs and livelihoods ?

      “How did we do all that? We are sorry now. But it was only a few short years ago………we denigrated gays in the Press, we used the AIDS crisis to expose and belittle the victims.
      We are only lately come to this sorrow.
      “What a bunch of pure scum we were to treat our brothers and sisters that way. We were scum. I hope to f uck we have learned something.”
      __________________________________________

      Oh Jesus, what are the chances ?

      • GayOldLady

        “Oh Jesus, what are the chances ?”

        In our lifetime? Zero!

    • Sporkfighter

      Consider a freed slave in 1865; he was expected to be happy with no longer being a slave. He didn’t get forty acres, he didn’t get a mule, and the citizenship he got was limited at best. Nooses and flaming crosses he could find in most public parks. I thought we were moving a bit faster these days. A bit. Maybe. Then we somehow elected Trump.

    • BobSF_94117

      Can the police unbeat people? Can they unforce confessions from them?

  • Christo

    While I think this is a good thing, I can’t get over the fact that she looks just like Samantha Bee.

    • Bj Lincoln

      I love Sam B.

      • Christo

        Me too!

  • another_steve

    Hard to believe, but here in the states, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders as recently as 1973.

    1973.

    Think about that.

    • jerry

      So I was mentally disordered until I got into 5th grade. Then, like magic, I got over it.

      • Bj Lincoln

        I was in high school then.

        • another_steve

          Did you grow up in Baltimore, girl?

          I’m a Baltimore-area transplant: New York City to the Baltimore area, 1979.

          I luv talkin’ with native Baltimore folk. In my experience, some of the best people in the world.

      • another_steve

        I came out as a teenager in January 1972 in New York City.

        I was so damn busy – socially and sexually – that year that I didn’t have time to focus on the fact that I was mentally disordered.

        • jerry

          I was first dragged to a gay bar (Kicking and screaming? More like dancing and sashaying.) a couple months before my 16th birthday in 1979.

          • another_steve

            Ooh gurl… ya got an early start there didn’t ya.

            A baby gay, you.

          • jerry

            I’ve been laughing–though it’s not really a laughing matter–about the K. Spacey allegations. Wanted/unwanted sexual advances were every weekend at the bars. Hell, for the first 10 years, I’d swear it was a contest among the 35-50 age group to see who could get me drunk enough to go home with them. For the first couple years out of college, I had a stalker before we had a name for it.

          • another_steve

            Thank you.

            When I came out in 1972, I was a desirable twink. Today, I’m an old graying schlub – but back then, I was desirable.

            Unlike today, the bar scene was the place to hook up with other guys, back then. You’ve obviously been there/done that, too, jerry.

            The queer kids today…I don’t know where they hook up.

            Maybe on the Starbucks ordering line, I dunno.

          • Shy Guy

            It’s all on the smartphones these days.

          • another_steve

            This “Grindr” thing?

            I don’t know much about it, but it scares me.

          • Shy Guy

            Yes, that sort of thing. Grindr is just one among many apps now.

          • ChrisMorley

            The word then was chickens closely pursued by troll chickenhawks.

            Cell phones, Grindr, … ring any bells?

          • jerry

            Yes, I tried to avoid some of the “chickenhawks”. If you were in a relationship, he was your “lover”.

          • another_steve

            Lol. “Chickenhawks.” Ohmigod I hadn’t thought of that term in decades.

            You gave me a wonderful laugh, Chris. Thank you. 😉

          • jerry

            How I ever survived the period is a mystery…the “700 Club” has a very different, and non-religious, meaning for me. While I’m still relatively fit, any attention I receive, now at 54, is generally welcomed.

    • Tulle Christensen

      I was never mentally disordered, I figured out I was gay in 1976. I guess if I had gotten caught I would have been a convicted felon though

      • another_steve

        Today’s LGBT movement owes so much to our early pioneers. People who for decades prior to Stonewall fought the good fight.

        Here in Washington D.C., I was privileged to have met Franklin Kameny. Franklin was a fixture at D.C. Pride, held every year within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol Building.

        Rest in peace, dear brother.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kameny

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/381a3300fa9a6f4cf750a9117babc974f48a152032cedafa2571ad07a4acd79a.jpg

        • Treant

          He looks wise. And like he doesn’t put up with any shit.

          I can appreciate the latter, at least. 🙂

        • clay

          Gay Rights protests started 5 years before Stonewall, thanks to him and Barbara Gittings.

          • another_steve

            The Daughters of Bilitis – formed in 1955 – is considered the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States.

            My beautiful lesbian and bi sisters reading here: Know your history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughters_of_Bilitis

      • jerry

        Luckily, my state repealed its sodomy laws in 1976…and they hadn’t been actively enforced–last case trying sodomy was 1958, which was dismissed.

    • bkmn

      And I vaguely remember religious “leaders” proclaiming it was going to bring the country to ruins. Some things never change.

      • jerry

        My senior year in HS, I walked out of church when the minister started on his Sodom/Gomorrah sermon…my parents were rather upset. (It was American Baptist, and I was forced to go every week until I went off to college).

      • boatboy_srq

        Well, in a way it has. Look at all the Reichwingnuts who have lost their shyte in recent years. The “religious leaders” never said which parts of the US would go nuts….

  • Lazycrockett
    • Bj Lincoln

      Keebler tossing! I wonder if Sessions would like to visit. Ha Ha Ha!

  • TrueWords

    SO amazing…so heartbreaking

    Man of the Platform

    Programme website: A young man returning from the trenches of the First World War recollects a love that dared not speak its name.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5r8l_nyaPs

    • jerry

      Love Ben Whishaw.

    • Opinion Sousaphones

      Yes. Quite amazing. Somehow, this seems more like my life than anything I have heard from more modern settings. I guess it is written by a modern person though… not actually a history. Thanks so much.

      • TrueWords

        I wept when he told this story…my husband had to hold me…then I had to hold him

  • blackstar

    always smile when your husband talks ..
    https://twitter.com/NYTnickc/status/927931080807796738

    • Lazycrockett

      towns or tons?!

      I’ll show myself out.

      • jerry

        Yes.

      • Treant

        The latter merger would have resulted in the gravitational destruction of the Eastern Seaboard and, eventually, the planet.

      • JAKvirginia

        Towns? I’m still waiting for his two lobes to merge into a useable brain.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada
      • Tulle Christensen

        Maybe they are all hunting trumpback whales. I heard there are a few near Japan right now

  • Richard

    Meanwhile,, back in the good old usa the current government is turning back the clock, e.g., “the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has removed sexual
    orientation and gender identity from their Equal Employment Opportunity
    (EEO) statement.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      M’eh, elections don’t matter, so why be upset…right? /s

    • joe ho

      Both parties are the same.

      Ask the Bernie or Busters and Green Partiers.

  • Lazycrockett
  • Tawreos

    At least Scotland is moving in the right direction.

    • Boreal

      as this country moves backwards into the 19th century.

      • boatboy_srq

        16th.

  • JAKvirginia

    Thank you, First Minister and Scotland. Now… about that damn golf course of Trump’s.

  • shellback

    Your mirrors need washing.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Treant

      Under no plan, Dumpy will crash the American economy by 2018.

      That seven years sooner!

      • Opinion Sousaphones

        Well…. he does not deserve ALL the credit. After all, the Senate and Congress are hard at work for the same goal.

    • TrueWords

      China is poised to be a global leader regarding innovative alternatives to fossil fuels…

      • clay

        They’ve seen first-hand what coal does locally, regionally, and globally, all at once. Their timing entering into automobile production and demand means they can leap-frog into bio-fuels and hybrid and electric motors.

      • Lazycrockett

        Citizens demanding that the US ditch the TPP gave China the ability to step in and take control of the Asian market. Our loss, their gain.

      • Edmund Allin

        I know, and it’s ridiculous. Smoke-belching China has seen the error of her ways and is poised to be the first to mass engineer 21st-century cars, while the US (realistically, the only country that could compete, given the size of its domestic market) is farther behind than practically anyone else, probably even the Italians.

  • Blake J Butler
    • Treant

      Even at R+1 and with an incumbent, it’s competitive in 2018. 🙂

      It’s an ill wind and all that!

  • AJ Drew
  • clay

    We got upset when Joe posted this on November 1st:
    http://www.joemygod.com/2017/11/01/global-survey-28-back-criminalizing-homosexuality/

    But, at least in one way, it was good news. There has been significant improvement over our lifetimes. In just the last 15 years the percent of nations outlawing same sex behavior has fallen by more than 20%, and their populations have become less likely to want to outlaw it.

  • kareemachan

    Now THAT is an apology. Not the repug-type mealy-mouthed crap.

  • boatboy_srq

    And all at once, yes? Not piecemeal like UK Parliament did…

    • ChrisMorley

      Yes

      ‘The new bill mirrors moves to allow men in England and Wales, where an estimated 50,000 men were prosecuted, including 15,000 who are still alive, to request a pardon. In Scotland, pardons will be automatic, including posthumously.

      The draft legislation, called the historical sexual offences (pardons and disregards) (Scotland) bill, will also allow men to apply for criminal offences covered by the bill to be swept from their records, or disregarded, if they need to for employment reasons.’

      Includes Link to draft Bill https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/07/scotland-to-pardon-gay-men-with-historical-convictions

  • Ellipse K

    Until the T.A.R.D.I.S is real, accepting some sort of apology is necessary. But they could start to expunge the records w/o making people apply. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53ed31e49a48c286922d75bb34af356864c3056842afee6d4b7469c957bd3143.jpg

  • BurningTongues

    My first thought when I saw the photo attached to this story was, “OMG, Angela Merkel and Princess Di have been merged into a single person in some kind of freak genetics experiment!”

    I might need to start having decaf in the afternoon.

  • Squicky

    As apologies go, I give it two thumbs up.