UK finally forgets about Teenage “Sins”

In a proposed bill that would wipe many a criminal record clean, Britain’s Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone wants to retroactively expunge any convictions for violating age-of-consent laws that for decades discriminated against gays. While gay sex was decriminalized in some parts of the U.K. in the 1960s (and other parts in the 1980s), the age of consent stood at 21, then was pushed to 18 in 1994, and finally down to 16 in 2000 — which is the age-of-consent for heteros. But anyone found guilty of violating the law in years past still had a tarnished record, and before 2003 was included on the Sex Offenders Register. Prime Minister David Cameron, who made a stab at gay outreach during his election, will thus make good on a campaign promise. Is this a big deal? Absolutely. A 22-year-old man who had sex with a 20-year-old man in 1993 would still, to this day, be forced to reveal his criminal record to potential employers, who — you guessed it — would be inclined to deny a job to a sex offender. Says Featherstone: "Such men will never again have to disclose that information. I hope very much that those gay men whom that has inhibited from volunteering will now find that inhibition removed." [via]


39 thoughts on “UK finally forgets about Teenage “Sins””

  1. Awesome progression for the UK gay rights history books…….And also an awesome visual header :)

  2. wow for a conservative pm that’s pretty progressive. In Canada we have conservative government and they would never do this, there ass backwards on everything. I’m glad these dudes will not be discriminated for jobs anymore.

    1. Hmm… I thought the government in general had had placed a couple of obsolete ideologies aside when they were pointed out to them? (not often.)

      Admittedly I’m a little bit conservative/traditional. I still say “go for the sex!” at any point past the legal age of consent; (and Grind!! Baby! when younger.) but the caveat concerning age difference can be a bit icky sometimes when it comes to the lower age bracket. A 22 and a 30? Not really a problem. But a 16 and a 24? Hmmm…

      Besides the possible fetish apperatus; at which point does the age relevance possibly note an actual psychological disorder? (visual age or otherwise.)

  3. Aaand here are some of the comments this news item got on
    the gay (!) website where it was posted: “Well hey that Britain. If
    they’re fine with their kids being corrupted, that’s on them. Any
    grown man that diddles a boy under the age of 18 in America needs
    to be put UNDER the prison.” “So basically they’re going to
    legalize pedophilia and allow pedophiles to get rid of their
    records?” Brb banging my head against a wall.

    1. Using your logic you could say that a 19 year old “grown man” that has sex with a 17 year old “boy” is a pedophile and deserves to be put in prison…… There is no magical change that immediately takes place for a “boy” to become a “man” when he turns 18…. It is a gradual change that takes place over the course of about 5-10 years. I have seen “boys” 16 years old that are more physically and emotionally mature then 18 year old “men”. Look at Justin Bieber for example… he is a 16, almost 17 year old boy….. and you would never guess that he was 16-17 years old just by looking at him…. he looks 13 or 14 (to me at least). I just turned 20 years old a month ago, are you saying that i’m a pedophile if I were to have sex with a fully matured 17 year old adult male? Becoming a “man” at 18 is just a socially constructed idea that you have learned from years of being trained to believe that someone is still a child until they are 18…….. I will agree that a 20 year old with anyone 15 or younger is just wrong, especially if they are not physically developed like an adult. That is just wrong and there is something mentally wrong with that person. But what is so wrong about a 20 year old and 17 year old, or 19 and 16, or 18 and 16? Why should it matter….?

      1. You misread my post (which was admittedly easy to do, because for some reason the layout got fucked up and the paragraph spaces disappeared). The statements you disapprove of are actually quotes, and I posted them precisely because I agree with you about their stupidity.

    2. In most of the United States, the age of consent is 16.

      By definition, pedophilia is an attraction to prepubescent children. I think you must have meant to use the word “ephebophilia”.

      1. Even still, couldn’t an adult say aged 19-21 get in legal trouble for having sex with a 16 year old or 17 year old even if it is consensual, because they are still a minor?

        1. It really all depends on your state law as this is a state by state thing. Where I hail from (a large state in the southwest part of the US), our state law says that the age of consent is 17 (for everyone unless your within 4 years of the person, then its lower) and so long as the older person (aka 18 or older) is not a teacher and has no power over you (boss, etc) then it is legal. It does not matter that they are a minor at that point as the age of consent is what matters.

          Used to be in this state, that the age of consent for gay sex was 13! That meant, under the old rules, if you were 18 or over, you could have sex with the same gender as long as they were 13 and older. I never saw those laws, so I can not tell you the exact details (like if the people had to be within a certain age range or not).

          I know these laws (in my state) for a few reasons. One is that my second job is that of a youth director for a local church, and as part of “mandatory reporting” training required by the state, I boned up (pun intended) on the laws so I would know the exact line that would need to be crossed for me to have to report something to the local officials.

          The other reasons is that since I am gay, I want to make sure I am in the clear when I have sex. I am not going to jail just for some tail, so I want to make sure I know the laws.

          As for how I know the old laws, I found those out from a friend who used to be a councilor here in the state. And I know those laws were in effect as far back as 2000 or so.


  4. David Cameron supported section 28 throughout it’s life; he
    crtiticised Labour for supporting what he called the fringe agenda
    of gay rights while in opposition. Back in February, before the
    election, he went on record as saying there would be no new rights
    for gay people coming from the tories. He has allied his party in
    the European parliament with some of the most reactionary and
    anti-gay groups in that parliament, eg. the Polish Law and Justice
    Party and the All for Latvia Party, essentially eastern European
    neo nazis. Before the election shadow home secretatary Chris
    Grayling supported the B&B proprietors who refused to
    accomodate a gay couple, prompting a demo outside Tory HQ. These
    people are not to be trusted on gay issues, they are innately
    homophobic and always will be.

  5. I think we have 22 out gay MPs and over half of them are Tory, statistically not that surprising as they are the biggest party.
    But as the loony left likes to remind us this is the party of Clause 28, that most draconian of laws which resulted in not a single prosecution.
    So Cameron is being very fair and may even have a high ranking friend who’s not out yet.

  6. It’s politics….innit?

    In itself it is, of course, good news. And one would be churlish to say otherwise. Cameron is clearly seeking to court the gay vote – or at least that part of it which reads the Daily Mail.

    But don’t forget, this is the same Tory government which is currently seeking to ban all internet pron. Or rather, which is seeking to make those who wish to view internet pron register their interest. A registration process which could very easily be turned into a conveniently-sized “sex offenders” list (as Josh has pointed out).

    Putting the two halves of the policy together….it sounds like “divide and rule” to me.

  7. Hey, sorry for ignoring the post itself for a moment, but
    where does that header gif come from? :)

      1. happens to everyone… even though i am just 20 – still i feel as if i wasted the best of years – 15,16,17… surpressed by the enviroment wastefully closed down in the closet…

  8. “But as the loony left likes to remind us this is the party of Clause 28, that most draconian of laws which resulted in not a single prosecution”

    You don’t have to be of any particular political persuasion to be aware that this specifically anti-gay law was on the statute books for a number of years and supported by Cameron, who voted for it when it was introduced and against it’s repeal.

    Not a single prosecution, but a very clear indication of what it’s instigators thought about gay people, do you think laws are passed with the intention of there being no preosecutions? Would a law that dictated that all gay people be shot on sight be OK as long as it was never enforced?

    Do your parents know that you’re using their computer?

    1. Sorry mate but you are chatting so much shit you are
      unreal. Section 28 was enacted on 24 May 1988. David Cameron was
      not elected to Parliament until 2001. Section 28 was repealed on 21
      June 2000 in Scotland, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of the
      UK by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003. What new rights
      are needed ? I have enough confidence in myself to not require the
      state to hold my hand every time I cross the road. I have the
      expectation of equal rights, everything else is down to me and my
      interaction with society. I don’t want to get married, I am
      intelligent enough to ensure that my will leaves my partner catered
      for which seems to be the pressing urgency for the straight gays to
      conform with the hetero-society. “Not a single prosecution, but a
      very clear indication of what it’s instigators thought about gay
      people, do you think laws are passed with the intention of there
      being no preosecutions? Would a law that dictated that all gay
      people be shot on sight be OK as long as it was never enforced?” In
      this case yes as there was no criminal offence created. Your second
      hypothetical query is too tiresome to bother with and I shall treat
      it with the withering contempt it deserves. I’d rate your response
      4/10, well written but no substance and completely factually
      inaccurate. In other words must try harder and do some research
      yourself, don’t believe all the scary stories they tell you down
      the creche.

      1. Josh,

        Why, when after a response passing moderation do you destroy the paragraph structure ?

  9. Pretty hot pic.
    Also, same here in Aus. 16 or 15 for heterosexual sex.
    18 for anything else.

    Not that that stops anyone.

  10. Not before time, these were neanderthal laws. The equalisation of the age of consent took a lot to get through with a huge battle with resistance in the House of Lords. I don’t know whether this has been lifted (will have to research) but I think anal sex is still illegal under 18 (as a sop to “conservatives” of all parties in the Lords). Things are proressing slowly though and at least we are more progressive than the US on this, not saying much I know.

  11. What i love about this is not just the pic at the top but
    your use of “heteros” :P Made me chuckle

  12. This is really great for the UK. About time. But was very
    difficult to read while the guys were being intimate.

  13. Hey, I have that video!

    On another note, I think having different age of consent law for males and females is just as regressive as laws that criminalize sodomy.

    Both have nothing to do with heterosexual, and thus “normal”, sex between consenting parties and are designed with full knowledge by those enacting them to do one thing.

    All these laws have ever been designed for, was to make it nearly impossible for Gay youth to have a normal and healthy sexual journey into adulthood.

    They figure if they can stop Gay youth from having sex or at least discovering their sexuality in the normal course of life, by making it seeming illegal and therefore immoral, then that just might force them to give up trying to be “Gay” and just settle for normal, good, clean, and most importantly CHRISTIAN, hetero sex. Because obviously being Gay is just a choice, and if we’re denied the opportunity to have our blasphemous queer sex at such a young age, we’ll all get frustrated enough so that we just give up, and make the good moral choice and all opt to become normal heterosexuals.

    You know. They are only thinking of the children.

    Ugh…Sometimes I really fucking hate ignorant breeders.

  14. Face it, for every person who thinks it is a good idea to give Gays equal rights there are a hand full of others who fear it and oppose it. It isn’t so much a conspiracy as an indoctrinated mistrust of homosexuals who were clearly linked to the evils of the pagan past, and are an anathema to our Christian traditions.

    We represent a break from established order.

    We cross the grain of nature for those who believe sex is only for procreation.

    And it has been said that modern conservatives and Christians are against anything that brings joy to others if it is outside their control.

    Conservatives seek to slow progress and ‘conserve’ traditions. Something Gays and progressives in general do not. Not all Gays since there are traditional Gays and Republican Gays. But on the whole Gays that been more socially open, or uninhibited when in hiding, and distrust social controls.

    We are never going to be free of this dialectic but it will be modified over the coming decades but it will never be fully assimilated until our cultural traditions are modified or become socially obsolete.

  15. 24 and 16 is not a problem in UK law as long as the older is not exploiting a position of responsibility. I am sure though that the activities of the header would be though. I am sure that,in crude parlance, taking it up the ass or in English legsl tetminology: Buggery is illegal under 18 as I said: i’ll look it up and get back.

  16. I was wrong: 16 aoc for all homosexual acts: see Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000. The Lords proposal that I was thinking of keeping the buggery limit at 18 was rejected. Right on the abuse of trust offence though :S 3 & 4 of same Act.

  17. In other news, two gay people having sex is still a criminal offence in 70 countries.

    Of course, we wouldn’t criticise them. Instead, we’ll take one of the most progressive countries in the world – the UK – and look for something to criticise.

    Goes to show how much some of you take your freedoms for granted when you have no problem staying silent about the oppressed in other countries. Sad state of affairs.

  18. “Government will always do the right thing. But first it must exhaust all other opportunities.” – Sir Winston Churchill

    1. The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.
      Variant: You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

      This is the closest I can get to your misquote.

      1. It may indeed be a misquote – I can’t remember where I saw it years ago – but it was, rightly or wrongly, attributed to Churchill. If Sir Winston could be asked today if he said it, I would think he might answer, “No, but I wish I had.”

        1. Well he nearly did, I’ve given you the two alternatives of what he did say.

          Put your variant in a search engine and see what you find.

  19. Interesting. The age of sexual consent here is 16 (and only allowed with people up to 22).

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