The Victorian Government will formally apologise to the men who were convicted of consensual gay sex crimes.

Before 1981, when homosexuality was decriminalised, men could be handed up to 15 years’ jail for consensual sex with other men.

Victorian Parliament passed the gay sex convictions expungement bill in 2014 which allow affected men to apply to have any historic convictions of consensual homosexual sex removed from their records.

(It’s) sending the strongest message that we are sorry,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters while attending the Midsumma Pride March in Melbourne on Sunday.

That that was a dark chapter in our state’s history and that we are better than that.

“It was shameful that our laws prohibited and turned those activities into crimes,” he said.

The apology will take place in parliament on May 24.

Last December, Tasmania’s state government confirmed it would move legislation this year to allow criminal records for gay sex to be expunged, and apologise to those who were prosecuted.

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