Pardons for historic homosexual convictions

Up until 30 years ago in New Zealand homosexual acts were illegal and men were charged and convicted for them, which were a huge stigma for them. Legal and social sanity eventually prevailed.

The Government is preparing to allow pardons and apologies will be given. Excellent from Amy Adams.

I wonder why this has taken so long.


Historical homosexual convictions eligible to be wiped

The Government will introduce a new scheme to address historical convictions for homosexual offences, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“While the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 decriminalised consensual sex between men aged 16 and over, convictions for those offences remain on record and can appear in criminal history checks,” Ms Adams says.

“Although we can never fully undo the impact on the lives of those affected, this new scheme will provide a pathway for their convictions to be expunged. It means people will be treated as if they had never been convicted, and removes the ongoing stigma and prejudice that can arise from convictions for homosexual offences.

“I acknowledge the pain that these New Zealanders have lived with and hope that this will go some way toward addressing that.”

People with convictions for specific offences relating to consensual sexual activity between men 16 years and over will be eligible to apply to the Secretary of Justice to have the conviction expunged, an approach consistent with other overseas jurisdictions, such as Australia. If a person’s application is approved, government records will be amended so the conviction does not appear in criminal history checks and they will be entitled to declare they have no such conviction.

The application process will be free for applicants. Decisions will be made by the Secretary of Justice, without the need for formal court hearings or for applicants to appear in person.

“As there may be instances where the offending involved conduct that is still unlawful today, we can’t apply a broad brush approach to wiping convictions. The scheme will involve a case-by-case approach,” Ms Adams says.

Ms Adams says the Government intends to introduce legislation to implement the scheme in the coming months.

 

6 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  February 10, 2017

    Usually Governments are reluctant to revisit decisions by previous Governments.
    But hey it’s election year.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 10, 2017

      Don’t be so nasty. This one has been coming for some time. I would guess that it’s all parties who are in favour of it.

      • Noel

         /  February 10, 2017

        Nothing nasty about it.
        Information necessary to make a decision was detailed back in 2014,. The same detail used for this latest decision.

      • Pete Kane

         /  February 11, 2017

        Perfectly put Miss K.

  2. Gezza

     /  February 10, 2017

    Good on Amy. It’s appropriate & overdue.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 10, 2017

      People were quite openly gay in the 80s, so I’d guess that the law wasn’t often enforced by then except for cottaging-but to have a law that said that what consenting adults did in private was illegal was insane. I saw a gay friend on the news, on the video from the 80s, looking very YOUNG !!! We think that we haven’t changed, but the camera shows that oh dear, we no longer look like that. His black curls are now grey-he went grey young-he has a beard and a bit of a puku.