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Wrongful convictions for being gay need to be overturned

6 July 2016

Wrongful convictions for being gay need to be overturned


Green Party MP Kevin Hague will today table a petition in Parliament calling for an official apology to, and pardon of, people convicted of consensual acts under anti-homosexuality laws that were overturned 30 years ago.

The tabling of a petition by Wiremu Demchick coincides with the 30th anniversary of Homosexual Law Reform, which is being celebrated at an event at Parliament tonight.

“I am proud to table a petition today that requests that the Government officially apologised to those who were convicted of consensual homosexual acts before 1986, and begin a process of reversing those convictions,” said Mr Hague.

“Convictions for consensual sex between men blighted the lives of many, and the Government is obliged to do what it can to put things right.

“Hundreds of people in New Zealand today still feel the stigma and trauma associated with that time, when people were fired from their jobs, harassed or thrown out of home just for being gay.

“Nobody, anywhere, at any time, should be expected to obey a law that offends against basic human rights. People who were convicted under historic immoral laws should not have to live with those convictions on their records today.

“It might seem like a lifetime ago, but I remember what living under this law was like, and many people still live with this hanging over their head.

“This is a small but crucial step that we can make now, with the benefit of hindsight, to say that the criminalisation of consensual sex was wrong, and that we stand on the right side of history,” said Mr Hague.

ends

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