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May 6, 2012

IconContention as consensual gay convictions cleaned

A new law passed this week means thousands of British gay men will have historic homophobic convictions removed from their records.

Passed on Monday, The Protection of Freedoms Act allows an estimated 16,000 gay and bisexual men, convicted of ‘loitering with intent’ under Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824, to have their convictions erased. 

Stonewall, who was pushing for the action, said that many men in the UK had been prevented from working and volunteering because of their convictions, but now they will be free to offer their services.

The organisation had campaigned for changes to the Protection of Freedoms Act. And, in March 2011, received Parliamentary backing. Stonewall also lobbied the Home Secretary to stretch the act to include the removal of future malicious convictions.

Many would see this a step in the right direction.

‘The future for British children’

Britain First, however, has a very different perspective. According to an article on their website, the new law makes for a pedophile’s charter, where people could perform illegal sexual acts in the hope that some day they will be made legal and their convictions would be erased.

Describing themselves as ‘a responsible patriotic political movement’, the organisation marks the new legislation as a danger to children.

Throughout recent history, the age of consent for gay sex has been dropping. From 21 in 1969, to 18 in 1994, the legal age of consent for gays in the UK now stands equal to straight consent at 16.

The folks over at Britain First take this to another level (on another planet), arguing that with this ideology, the age of consent could be brought even lower. Under their reasoning, people previously seen as pedophiles, could have their criminal records removed as part of the new law.

Playing the victim

The concept of equality seems to be absent from their reasoning. The age of consent was lowered to 16 so as to provide an equality between gay and straight consent.

How could I forget, all gay people are pedophiles.

Reading the comments below the article, I got a quick sharp snapshot at their readership.

Chris;  “I understand the motorway speed limit is to be raised to 80mph later this year. Presumably not just homosexuals, but all of us, will have our points retrospectively deleted from our licenses and our insurance premiums reduced accordingly. As for being deported to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread, imagine all the compensation claims being lined up!”

Of course, the increase of the speed limit couldn’t be anything to do with the increase in road and car safety. Who’d want to do 80mph in an Audi 5000?

Or another comment; “Yes, they are undermining everything this nation was built upon, causing confusion, so no one knows what’s what anymore, so the nation collapses.”

Please, before 1928, women weren’t allowed to vote unless they were over 30 and met certain property requirements, and even those women weren’t allowed to vote until 1918. Should this law not have been repealed?

When it comes to gay rights there’s a strong pidgeon-holing of the gays as ‘playing the victim’. This is very evident in the article and its comments.

It really shouldn’t be a big deal for the LGBTQ community to achieve equality without all of this petty backstabbing.

But there we are, 2012.

 

Image courtesy of www.holland.com 

1 Response to Contention as consensual gay convictions cleaned

  1. Sarah says:

    Want to reply but am speechless… Am sat here wondering why the rape of minors (those under 16) and speeding offences are being brought into question? Consensual sex among people deemed by law able to make an informed and responsible choice is what we are talking about here. Equality is what we are talking about. The lifting of antiquated laws born of ignorance and fear mongering is what we are talking about. Not the freedom to abuse children. Before this week responsible consenting gay men were suffering the same punishments and lack of freedom as paedophiles who ruin lives. This is beyond me and if members of our parliament have enough vision to reverse these medieval rulings then finally I think I have found something worth voting for! Britain First are clearly scared of the world around them and are unable to trust that the British people can think for themselves…I hardly think therefore that they are proving themselves proud and followable representatives of our great land!