The UK announced [press release] Tuesday that thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of sexual offenses received a posthumous pardon as their actions are no longer deemed illegal under British law. The pardon is part of the policing and crime bill [official summary], which acknowledges thousands of individuals were convicted of offenses because they were engaged in consensual same-sex relationships.
As well as posthumously pardoning gay and bisexual men, this law will also provide pardons for the living in cases where convictions have been deleted through the disregard process. This will ensure that due diligence is carried out and prevent people from claiming to be cleared of offences that are still crimes—including sex with a minor and non-consensual sexual activity.
The pardons are expected to impact 15,000 living individuals in addition to the 50,000 [Telegraph report] posthumous pardons.
Rights for LGBT individuals continues to change. The Texas Supreme Court last Friday reversed its previous 8-1 decision [JURIST report], choosing to review a lower court ruling in which that court held cities are required to offer the same benefits to same-sex spouses of employees as to opposite-sex spouses. A UN human rights expert provided a report [JURIST report] to an international conference in Thailand in November regarding discrimination of the lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex community. Also in November the Ontario legislature passed the All Families are Equal Act [text], recognizing same-sex couples as parents when they utilize assisted reproduction.