TASMANIA MOVES TO EXPUNGE GAY SEX CONVICTIONS


Tasmania was the last Australian state to decriminalise sex between consenting adult males in private, in 1997.

But it seems it won’t be the last to erase historical convictions for consensual sexual activity between adult men.

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Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks wants a dedicated scheme established to allow records relating to homosexual activities or activities arising because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to be expunged.

Ms Banks has recommended establishing a three-person panel made up of herself, the registrar of the Working with Vulnerable People Registration Scheme and the dean of law at the University of Tasmania.

Ms Banks said it would be an important step in removing stigma for people who have a conviction simply because they’re homosexual.

They wouldn’t face potential discrimination in employment, in volunteering, in a whole lot of other things as a result of what was an historic record,” she said.

Ms Banks wants the process to be operating by early next year, and said it was an urgent priority for Tasmania.

South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria already have similar schemes to review and expunge criminal records of a similar nature.

In Queensland, the LGBTI Legal Service is looking into law reform options and working with other stakeholders to prepare a discussion paper for submission to the State Government.

In the lead-up to February’s election, now Premier Annastacia Palazczuk told Q News a future Labor government would be supportive of expunging historical gay sex convictions.

We would refer the issue to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for its consideration of the appropriateness of making this change to the law, and if so, how it should be effected,” she said.