NSW apologises for laws criminalising homosexual acts

Chris Minns apology
Image: Youtube

NSW Premier Chris Minns has formally apologised on behalf of the government to people convicted of homosexual acts.

NSW is the last state in Australia to apologise for the anti-gay laws which were reformed in 1984.

Mr Minns said these laws “persecuted, and harmed” people based on their sexuality, and acknowledged there was “still much more work to do to ensure the equal rights of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community”.

“We’re here to apologise for every life that was damaged or diminished or destroyed by these unjust laws,” he said to a packed public viewing gallery.

“To those who survived these terrible years and to those who never made it through, we are truly sorry.

“As a state, we told you were wrong. But the truth is you are never wrong. These laws were wrong.”

Attending the apology were more than a dozen 78ers, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Pride in Protest responds to apology 

However, Pride in Protest has called the apology a “distraction” and is calling for the state government to do more to protect LGBTQIA+ people – specifically, passing the Equality Bill.

Chris Minns is apologising today for the historic ways the law was weaponised against the queer community,” Pride in Protest and Sex Worker Action Collective member Wei Thai-Haynes said.

“The big problem is that while he’ll apologise in one breath for the past, Minns’ is delaying progress and refusing to act on all the ways the law is STILL homophobic and transphobic.

“An apology is long overdue and we would all like to be together to commemorate an important symbolic moment. But the victims of the criminalisation of homosexuality and our broader queer community deserve a genuine apology – that means an apology that is accompanied by an end to the ways the law still fails us”

“The Minns Labor Government have the numbers in Parliament to pass the Equality Bill today. They could give us legal protection from discrimination. They could remove the barriers that prevent many trans people from living their lives freely and authentically. [The NSW government] could ignore the noise from religious extremists and transphobes and protect the dignity of queer people.

“Every day, NSW Labor is choosing to leave us unequal.”

More to Come

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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