For several years now the UK has had a process allowing those convicted of consensual homosexual acts under outdated, bigoted laws to have their convictions expunged. Today, they went a step further and issued a blanket pardon to the deceased victims of past bigotry:
Thousands of men convicted of offences that once criminalised homosexuality but are no longer on the statute book have been posthumously pardoned under a new law.
A clause in the policing and crime bill, which received royal assent on Tuesday, extends to those who are dead the existing process of purging past criminal records.
Welcoming the legislation, the justice minister Sam Gyimah said: “This is a truly momentous day. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologised and taken action to right these wrongs. I am immensely proud that ‘Turing’s law’ has become a reality under this government.”
Meanwhile in "progressive" New Zealand we're still dragging our feet on this, with the Justice Minister only just having got around to getting her officials to look at it. And while it will go to Cabinet, National's inner circle is stuffed with unrepentent bigots: seven of their top ten, including the prime Minister, voted against marriage equality. So its chances probably aren't great.
We can, and should do better. This is something we should be leading the world on. Instead National has made us a slow and reluctant follower.