Cole-Hamilton: Pardons and Disregards Bill a "milestone"

Speaking during today's debate on the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Bill, which would enable men to erase their convictions for same-sex activity that is now legal, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP and Equalities Committee Deputy Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Alan Turing’s arrest and conviction is mirrored in the stories of a thousand men and more across these islands, each steeped in persecution, humiliation and in some cases tragedy.

“This bill represents another milestone for gay rights in this country. It restates the recognition that the gender of the person you love doesn’t matter, but more than that, it never should have mattered. This Bill is our opportunity to say to those men who have felt compelled to live in the shadows for who they were, step forward. Step forward and be recognised, your country is profoundly sorry for what it did to you.”

 “This legislation has shown the Scottish Parliament at its best and, with the exception of efforts to amend this bill to allow the relatives of those who are deceased to apply for a posthumous pardon and disregard, Scottish Liberal Democrats will be supporting this legislation.”

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