Gross indecency was an offence created by the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 which covered various types of sex between men other than buggery. The offence remained on the statute book under section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. Following partial decriminalisation of certain homosexual acts by the Sexual Offences Act 1967, gross indecency between two men in private was exempt from prosecution. The offence was abolished, together with that of buggery, by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing were both convicted of gross indecency, Wilde in 1895 was given two years hard labour, and Turing, in 1952, was sentenced to 12 months probation with a condition of treatment (chemical castration).
By the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 persons with convictions or cautions for gross indecency can apply to have them disregarded and removed from their criminal record, providing the 'offence' was consenting and both parties were 16 years or over.