WWII hero Alan Turing was among several illustrious personalities to be convicted for homosexuality
London: Thousands of men convicted under now-abolished anti-homosexuality laws in Britain have been pardoned posthumously under a new law enacted, and many more still alive can now apply to have their criminal convictions wiped out.
Announcing the new law, the ministry of justice said the pardons apply automatically to deceased men who were convicted for consensual same-sex relations before homosexuality was decriminalised several decades ago. Men living with convictions can apply to the government to have their names cleared.
"This is a truly momentous day. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologised and taken action to right these wrongs," Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said.
Calls for a general pardon have noted the 1954 suicide of WWII codebreaking hero Alan Turing after his conviction for "gross indecency." After he received a posthumous royal pardon in 2013, pressure for pardons intensified. After WWII, Turing was prosecuted for having sex with a man.