MEDIA RELEASE: Apology for Historical Homosexual Convictions Recognises State Responsibility

Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on Sexuality and Gender Diversity Jenny Leong MP has welcomed the apology made by the Victorian Government to people with historical convictions for homosexual acts.

Ms Leong said:

“We welcome the Victorian Government leading the way on this. Laws that criminalise homosexual activity have been off the books for decades, but many people are still living with a criminal record and a memory of the harassment and public shame that they were made to feel.

“Member for Prahan Sam Hibbins spoke on behalf of the Greens during the apology, emphasising that we need to ensure that our laws protect individuals who face discrimination — not the people or organisations who wish to discriminate.

“While Victorians have been able to apply to have their historical convictions expunged for some time, it is important to also have an apology of this kind, as it recognises the role that was played by the state government in the entrenchment of homophobia, harassment, and a failure to protect human rights.

“Here in NSW we have also passed laws that allow people to have their historical homosexual convictions extinguished. We have recognised the blatant injustice behind the criminalisation of homosexuality.

“The NSW Parliament should follow in the footsteps of our Victorian counterparts and make a genuine apology to people convicted of homosexual offences, many of whom faced stigma and alienation following their convictions.


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