Clear Your Name

Publish Date: 18/10/2012


From 1st October, anyone who meets certain conditions laid down in the Protection of Freedom Act will be entitled to apply to the Home Office for a formal disregard of those convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands for consensual gay sex with someone over the age of 16.

Anyone affected will need to make an application.  A team of caseworkers will consider each individual case and make a recommendation to the Home Secretary who will ultimately make the final decision.  It must appear to the Home Secretary that (a) all parties involved in the conduct constituting the offence consented to it and were aged 16 or over at the time the offence was committed, and (b) any such conduct now would not be an offence under section 71 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

If that application is successful, records will be updated so that the offence will no longer appear on criminal record checks and nor will it have to be voluntarily disclosed.  The effect being that once the Home Secretary has given notice that the conviction has been disregarded and a period of 14 days have elapsed, a successful application will be treated as though they had never had a conviction.  It will give individuals the right to legally say that they do not have a criminal record, providing that was their only recorded offence.  Removing such offences from the records will mean many gay men will be able to apply for jobs and volunteer for positions they may once have not been able to apply for in the past, such as with children and the public sector.


The LGF encourages anyone who may be affected to have the conviction removed. We offer support and advice on this issue. You can:

-          Call our helpline on 0845 3 30 30 30 or email

-          Attend one of our legal surgeries on Tuesday 23rd October 6 – 8pm; Tuesday 18th November 6 – 8pm and Tuesday 27th November 6 – 8pm. Our legal surgeries take place every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, 5 Richmond Street, Manchester, M1 3HF.

-          You can also pop-in 10am – 8pm Monday – Friday.