Isle of Man chief minister apologized for gay sex having been criminalized

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The chief minister of the Isle of Man has given a formal apology to gay people convicted for homosexual activity before it was officially decriminalized in 1992, which is later than in any other part of the British Isles. The Isle of Man is a crown dependency, meaning that it maintains autonomy from the UK on issues like marriage. Marriage equality was legalized there in 2016. Chief minister Howard Quayle gave the apology in the House of Keys, the lower house of the island’s parliament Tynwald. His speech marked the third reading of the Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Bill 2019, which will wholly replace the Sexual Offences Act 1992 for gay people convicted for homosexuality to be officially pardoned and to have their criminal records cleared of the charges. “Before [gay sex being legalized], many of our countrymen were convicted as criminals, simply for loving another adult. Many more lived in fear. Afraid to be honest about their identity to their friends, family and work colleagues. Forced to feel a sense of shame about who they were,” the chief minister said, adding that it is impossible to rewrite the past, but it is possible to take a lesson from it not to let previous mistakes repeat again.

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