Scottish Government Apologizes To, Pardons Persecuted Gay Men
It was an emotional moment for many when Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, apologized for the country's persecution of gay men that persisted for roughly 100 years.
Scotland retained anti-gay legislation until 1981, 14 years after England and Wales decriminalized homosexuality.
But now, a new bill will pardon men who were prosecuted under the old law.
According to the Guardian, Sturgeon told MSPs:
“Within the lifetime of this parliament, this nation’s laws created suffering and perpetrated injustice.
“The legislation we have published today addresses this injustice.”
“Until we live in a world where no young person faces hate, fear and prejudice simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we still have work to do.”
Sturgeon's apology was an emotional moment for men who were present in the public gallery.
According to the Guardian, it is difficult to calculate the precise number of men who will be affected by the government pardon, although it's estimated that between 50 and 100 men were prosecuted each year, for the 100 years that gay sex and gross indecency remained a criminal offense.