The UK Should Automatically Expunge Records of LGBTQ+ People Targeted by Old Homophobic Laws

Shockingly, British women who were arrested and convicted for being gay still have those charges on their records! Under a 2012 law, for the past 11 years, only men could apply to have authorities remove those convictions. For some reason, the law did not make women eligible.

Now, the UK government is preparing to expand that Disregards and Pardons Scheme law to finally include queer, lesbian, and bisexual women. This is long overdue! The UK must expand the law further, to automatically expunge these LBGTQ+ "offenses" from people's records!

The UK criminalized queerness for generations. It should automatically expunge all those records now! Sign the petition to demand justice!

It's great that the UK is finally taking formal steps to undo the harm that past homophobic laws caused. However, requiring people to go out of their way to actively apply for pardons or expungements is not fair, since these individuals never should have been arrested to begin with. This creates a huge burden for people, and there are numerous reasons why.

First, in order to apply for a pardon through this law, individuals have to know about this legal change - and not everyone will. Can you imagine still having a "criminal record" for being LGBTQ+, just because you never found out you could get the charges erased?

Once a person learns about the Disregards and Pardons Scheme, they still have to go through a bureaucratic process, submitting a variety of paperwork to prove the pardons law applies to their case. Of the 400+ applications people have submitted, the government has already rejected around half! That probably explains why very few people have even applied in the past decade.

The burden for righting this injustice should not be on the people victimized by the law. That burden should fall on the government that targeted them in the first place!

Being LGBTQ+ is not, and never should have been a crime! The UK government must put in the effort to automatically expunge the records of every individual who was charged and convicted under these cruel homophobic laws! Sign the petition now.
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