The new law, called 'Turing law' became law in the U.K on Tuesday after receiving Royal assent and gives an automatic pardon to convicted gay men who died before the law came into effect, and from now on, already convicted gay men who are still living can now be pardoned for offenses no longer on the statute books.
British mathematician Alan Turing, whom the law was named after, and killed himself in 1954 after he was chemically castrated as punishment for gay sexual activity, has been pardoned by the new law over 60 years since his death.
The family of Alan Turing delivered a change.org petition to Downing Street signed by almost half a million people calling for more than 49,000 British gay men convicted of gay crimes to be pardoned.
"This is a truly momentous day. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologized and taken action to right these wrongs," Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said on Tuesday.
"I am immensely proud that 'Turing's Law' has become a reality under this government."
Sex between men over the age of 21 was seen as a crime in the 70s and 80s in the UK, with England decriminalizing gay sexual activity in 1967 while Scotland decriminalized theirs in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982