In the UK up until 1982, it was considered illegal for one man to be ‘grossly indecent’ with another man, resulting in around 65,000 convictions during this old-world period.
Following the posthumous pardoning of WWII codebreaker and subject of the film The Imitation Game, Alan Turing in 2013 for his offences under these laws, the British government has passed an amendment pardoning all men convicted during this time.
The Alan Turing law will see over 65,000 wrongful convictions reversed, in a huge moral victory for the British LGBT community.
After Turing’s pardon, a petition was set up calling for the same treatment of every man convicted during his era. Gaining over 600,000 signatures, that petition is what has inspired today’s overturning.
There are 15,000 gay and bisexual men still alive who hold convictions under the pre-1982 laws, and this amendment will see their records wiped clean. For the other 50,000 members of the LGBT community who have passed since they were punished for their sexual orientation, this is a symbolic gesture of good faith and apology.
This article originally appeared on IFLScience.