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Everyone in Northern Ireland who applied for ‘gay pardon’ turned down


Northern Ireland gay pardon elyssa-fahndrich-2y1W1l4a2VI-unsplash

Only two people sought pardons for historic gay sex offences in Northern Ireland and both failed to have the convictions overturned.

A law allowing people to appeal their historic convictions for homosexuality came into effect in 2017. This would stop the convictions from appearing on criminal records. It also meant people did not have to put abolished convictions on job applications.

However, only two people appealed to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to have their convictions overturned. The DoJ rejected both the applications.

It’s not clear why the applications were unsuccessful but the process has a very limited criteria.

Posthumous pardons are automatically given.

Northern Ireland-based LGBTI group the Rainbow Project helped both the men with their applications.

Its spokesperson John O’Doherty told the BBC: ‘The introduction of pardon measures for historic convictions was an important move in recognizing that criminalizing consenting gay and bisexual men was always wrong.

‘The criminalization damaged many people’s lives and left them with a criminal record for doing nothing wrong.

‘While it is disappointing that more people didn’t apply for a pardon, it doesn’t take away from the important message sent by the introduction.’

Across the UK, over half of those who applied for a pardon did not have their convictions overturned.

See also 

Scotland pardons men convicted for consensual gay sex.

Gay party leader champions calls for suffragettes to be pardoned.

Gay men, made criminals under Nazi law, will finally be pardoned

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