LGBT campaigners won the battle today to free thousands of gay and bisexual men from shameful decades-old criminal convictions - just for the crime of sex with one another.
New laws brought into force now allow men with historic convictions for consensual gay sex and "loitering with intent" to apply to clear their names under the Protection of Freedoms Act.
The charity Stonewall said it had fought hard to win cross-party support for the repeal and could now offer a step-by-step guide for men seeking to wipe their record.
No fewer than 10 separate Acts of Parliament have criminalised sex between men.
Stonewall's Ben Summerskill said he could not forget that such victories came too late for many already dead - who felt unable to apply for jobs and voluntary positions for fear their convictions would be revealed.
But the win "can start to bring closure to a very sad period of this country's history."
Applications to "disregard" do not cover offences where the partner was under 16, or occurring in a public lavatory - both of which are still illegal.