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Written Question
Veterans: LGBT People
29 Jun 2021

Questioner: Carol Monaghan (SNP - Glasgow North West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will issue letters of apology to all LGBT+ veterans who suffered significant (a) emotional and (b) financial hardship as a result of the former Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

Answered by Leo Docherty

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.


Written Question
Veterans: LGBT People
29 Jun 2021

Questioner: Carol Monaghan (SNP - Glasgow North West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to grant pardons to LGBT+ veterans who were convicted on account of their (a) sexuality or (b) gender identity during the Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

Answered by Leo Docherty

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.


Written Question
Veterans: LGBT People
29 Jun 2021

Questioner: Carol Monaghan (SNP - Glasgow North West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to provide compensation to LGBT+ veterans who have lost (a) earnings and (b) pensions as a result of the former Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

Answered by Leo Docherty

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.


Written Question
Homosexuality: Convictions
20 Oct 2020

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about extending by regulation the disregards and pardons for now abolished offences under section 166 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford

The Government remains fully committed to considering any further representations regarding the disregard scheme and upholding its intent and purpose.

Work is ongoing across government to explore the feasibility of extending the scheme under Section 166 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 and to identify what further offences might be added to the list of offences currently eligible for a disregard under Part 5 of the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012.


Written Question
Homosexuality: Convictions
25 Jun 2018

Questioner: Lord Cashman (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pardons have been applied for under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 pardon scheme for gay men; of those, how many have been granted; where applicants have not been pardoned, whether reasons have been given; and if so, what were those reasons.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford

Pardons under Section 165 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 are granted automatically when an individual applies successfully for a conviction to be disregarded. To date, there have been 174 pardons granted through this route, from 404 applications for convictions to be disregarded.

If a disregard application is unsuccessful, the applicant will receive a letter detailing the reason for rejection. Most applications are unsuccessful as the convictions concerned are for ineligible offences, such as theft. Applications are also rejected if the activity was non-consensual, involved a person under 16, or remains an offence.

Full statistics are regularly published on gov.uk.


Written Question
Homosexuality: Convictions
27 Nov 2017

Questioner: Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s publication, Statistics on disregards and pardons for historical gay sexual convictions, published on 23 October 2017, what estimate she has made of the proportion of cases submitted to the disregards process that have been accepted.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

The figures published on 23 October 2017 show the Home Office has received 255 applications pertaining to offences that can be considered for a disregard. For offences to be disregarded, certain criteria must be met, the activity must have been consensual; with a person of 16 or over, and must not be an offence today. Of these 255 applications, 161applications met the required criteria and were granted a disregard.


Written Question
Homosexuality: Convictions
23 Nov 2017

Questioner: Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of living men with historical convictions for gay sex offences have applied to have their convictions disregarded.

Answered by Nick Hurd

The Home Office does not hold these figures. However, the Explanatory Note attached to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 referred to an estimate of 12,000 convictions recorded on the Police National Computer that could be eligible for the disregard regime. It is important to note that this figure may not equate to the number of living individuals, as individuals could have been convicted of more than one offence. Additionally, the convictions may be for offences that do not meet the disregard criteria; the activity must have been consensual, with a person of 16 or over, and must not be an offence today. As of 13 October, 161 applications met the required criteria and were granted a disregard.


Written Question
Homosexuality: Convictions
15 Jul 2015

Questioner: Lord Sharkey (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Conservative Party manifesto pledges to introduce legislation to pardon those men, now deceased, who were historically convicted of gross indecency even though they would be innocent of any crime today, whether they intend such legislation to extend a pardon to those men similarly convicted but still living who may apply for a "disregard" under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and if not, why not; and whether they accept that there is a difference between a "pardon" and a "disregard", and if so, what it is.

Answered by Lord Faulks

The Government was elected with a manifesto commitment to introduce a new law to pardon those who suffered from convictions similar to Alan Turing’s, and who cannot correct the injustice themselves through the “disregard” process. Details of the policy have not yet been formulated and Ministers will be discussing their plans and making announcements in due course

There is a clear difference between a pardon and a disregard. A pardon is legally neutral in effect and does not affect any conviction, caution or sentence, though it may remove the ”pains and penalties” which resulted from these. The effect of a disregard is that all successful applicants will be treated “for all purposes in law” as though the conviction had never occurred and need not disclose it for any purpose. Official records relating to the conviction held by prescribed organisations will be deleted or, where appropriate, annotated to this effect as soon as possible after the grant of a disregard.