Turing law blocked by Conservative filibuster


A UK Conservative minister has obstructed the progression of a new law to pardon gay and bisexual men convicted of sexual offences that are no longer deemed criminal.

Sam Gyimah, one of four Justice Ministers, stopped Bill going forward with a filibuster - arguing that the Bill did not protect against men being pardoned for having sex with a minor or non-consensual sex.

This followed a debate in the House of Commons, in which former Labour minister Chris Bryant choked back tears delivering an impassioned speech in support of the legislation.

Mr Bryant presented the stories of a group of gay and bisexual MPs who in the 1930s opposed the appeasement of Adolf Hitler, but were bullied by the government of the time.

He insisted to Mr Gyimah: "If this Bill is not watertight, let's make it watertight."

The Bill was put forward by Scottish National Party (SNP) politician John Nicolson, and would pardon men convicted under now-overturned laws prohibiting sexual relations between men.

The legislation has been nicknamed the 'Alan Turing law', after the World War II codebreaker who three years ago was posthumously pardoned of an offence of gross indecency.

The SNP attempted to force a vote, but were unsuccessful as the requisite 100 MPs were not present in the House of Commons.

Debate on the Bill is expected to resume on December 16, but is unlikely to progress without the Conservative government's support.