Tasmanian Government Moves To Wipe Historic Gay Sex Convictions


Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman apologised to LGBT

The Tasmanian government has tabled legislation to wipe the criminal records of men who were convicted of sex with other men under the state’s historic laws criminalising homosexuality.

Liberal Premier Will Hodgman (pictured, right) is also set to apologise to those who were convicted under the state’s former laws, a move he was the first Australian premier to commit to back in 2015.

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The progress comes ahead of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Tasmania.

“Sex between men should never have been a crime and I welcome the State Government’s move to erase the stigma of criminality that still casts a shadows over the lives of many gay Tasmanians,” Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson Rodney Croome (pictured, left) said.

“Men convicted under our old laws will now be able to apply for jobs and volunteer positions without the stigma of a conviction on their record.

“An apology will help heal the deep wounds of the past and allow not only the LGBTI community, but the whole of Tasmanian society to move on from one of the worst periods in our history,” Mr Croome said.

Sections 122 (a) and (c) and 123 of the Tasmanian Criminal Code criminalised all consensual sexual activity between men with a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison.

Tasmania decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, the last state in the country to do so, but Mr Croome said Tasmania went on to adopt the most progressive and inclusive anti-discrimination in Australia.

Last May, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews apologised to men in the state unjustly convicted of homosexuality, after Victoria and New South Wales both passed expungement legislation in 2014.

In November, the Queensland government released draft legislation to parliament to expunge similar convictions held by Queensland men.

UK laws came into effect in February allowing men to apply to have historic gay sex convictions pardoned.

New Zealand’s Justice Minister in February apologised to men convicted of gay sex, and announced plans to implement a similar scheme.

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