Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 came into force, meaning men could have history convictions for "gross indecency" removed from their records.

In 2012, men who had been convicted of having sexual relations with another man or men could apply to have that charge or conviction removed from their criminal records.

In October 2012, under a David Cameron led Conservative/Liberal Democrat-run government, men with historic convictions for consensual gay sex could apply to have them disregarded, as the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 came into force.

Under the Act men who were convicted of “gross indecency” or consensual buggery, that is no longer illegal, can apply to have their convictions disregarded.

Homosexuality or sex between men was illegal in the UK for most of the 20th century. England and Wales became the first nations with in the UK to decriminalize it in 1967. Scotland followed over a decade later to decriminalise in 1981 with Northern Ireland finally changing the law to allow men to have sex with men in 1982.

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The 2012 Act also includes amendments which enable gay and bisexual men maliciously convicted of ‘loitering with intent’ under Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 to have those convictions removed from their criminal record too.

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