Bill Logan - historic convictions
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[00:00:00] 31 years ago, Bill Logan was one of the lead activists campaigning for homosexual law reform the campaign which was ultimately successful. Now he's involved in a new campaign of sorts to expand the convictions for homosexual activity under the old law from the criminal record. bills on the line now cuna bill welcome tonight's me, I'm sure Nice to have you on how many men were convicted as far as you know, of gay six under the old law before it changed in 1986. [00:00:33] We really have no idea. I don't think anyone's ever had any idea. It's just one of those things. It's impossible to figure out [00:00:46] how many souls again, we don't know how many men went to jail. [00:00:52] They would never, never kicked to the at the time I had a head sort of How many people were in this jail, that jail and certain years and so on? [00:01:05] But [00:01:06] the figures weren't ever sorted out very well. And, of course, in the in the more recent years, not so many people would get sent to jail but but find simply shamed. prosecuted. [00:01:27] publicity was as bad as anything [00:01:31] built, you know, when the last conviction was under the under the old law? [00:01:36] No, but there were, there were convictions, very, very late in the piece. They were raids of gay places, resorts owners and things like that. Right through into the 80s. [00:01:53] Really, yep. [00:01:55] I know people who are convicted of things In the in the early 80s [00:02:03] while the cups writing guy venues Yeah, you're under arrest. Yep. [00:02:09] seems rather bizarre now doesn't it? [00:02:12] It's weird. It's it and even at the time, people liberal people just thought this is mad. But it was a way of having some entertainment but it seems require the police station. [00:02:32] We don't know if any men were in prison in 1986 [00:02:35] although wouldn't depend anyone that knows that [00:02:39] but lighted already been raped. [00:02:43] The thing is, of course, that the shame involved for people was just enormous. And people I know of who were prosecuted mostly by the time I knew them Old man already [00:03:05] hiding. [00:03:09] Very, very quiet in the alive. [00:03:14] Magical existences sometimes. [00:03:17] Did you know of people who got caught up in some of those rights in the 80s? [00:03:22] In the 80s? Yeah. [00:03:25] Yeah, I don't know, anyone who was prosecuted in the 80s. But the Wakefield sooner I think it was called the sun sooner at the time. Like I can't remember they changed the name at one point was there was a raid and in the I think 1981 must have been. And someone actually rang me from persona saying this is what was happening. And I just tell everyone look don't tell the police anything about what you were doing you don't have to admit to anything. And I don't think they had any prosecutions because no one was caught in any position which was to compromise they weren't caught having sex in other words that slide Yeah. But it would have been very easy if anyone had been cool to prosecute them and said admitted having six. [00:04:44] The police take a whole lot of blokes down to the station. Oh, yeah, just just run down round the corner anyway. Yeah. [00:04:55] Did you speak to [00:04:56] offices because you're you're a lawyer? [00:04:59] No, no. Lawyer no i i didn't speak I think I can't even remember I think I probably gave cielo rang me [00:05:12] I'm gonna run a lawyer yes I rang a lawyer ask them together [00:05:19] some so interest most strange the thing the cops must have been this year incredibly bored incredibly quiet night and Wellington [00:05:29] and and my man lay in but some of those guys terrified and and and they would have got three hours late and [00:05:49] some of them might have been married or [00:05:51] living double lives yeah I mean did some did [00:05:55] yeah [00:06:00] mothers would have been worried about teenagers what [00:06:07] sorts of stories [00:06:12] I could ask this next question to wise. The first way is to say why you involved in expanding people from the criminal record. Now, the other way of asking that question is a bit disappointed. It's taken so long for a bill to reach Parliament that addresses this. [00:06:32] Well, I own a hell of a lot by society. They These are people whose lives were wrecked essentially who, who didn't have the careers they normally would have wanted an audit could have been reasonably expected. Who, who lost jobs, lost family connections. lost friends who've lost friendship networks, and it lost the self confidence to rebuild their lives after what was a complete disaster. And so I think we owe them a hell of a lot [00:07:21] of patents, at least that can be done actually. [00:07:25] Now, [00:07:27] of course, it should have been done ages ago. And of course, a lot more than that should be done. But [00:07:34] in the real world at this place, you can expect much more. [00:07:38] What's proposed under the legislation that's currently gone to the house gone to Parliament? [00:07:44] Well, it allows you to make an application to the chief of the Ministry of Justice who can make a decision that If this had been dealt with, by Karen law, you wouldn't have been found guilty you wouldn't live Wouldn't it be a crime as accountable and the neck, if if that was the case, your your, your your conviction is expunged. And it's a not a very elaborate process. I suspect you just have to write a letter. And some bureaucrat will be given the chance of looking into it and make a recommendation to the Secretary of justice. [00:08:39] So it's a fairly simple process, [00:08:42] as far as I can tell from what the justice ministry is saying. It's so that maybe there are 1000 main tool there about who could qualify. Yeah. [00:08:56] I suppose it's a good guess, but I really don't think there's Much evident. And I personally don't think many people are going to apply because it any in any kind of brings it all up again. Exactly. What was a horrible episode in someone's life? But it does. It does. Even if someone doesn't apply for it, it makes it makes it possible and it must be a bit of a load off. The mind is so on. [00:09:35] Do you think it's the right way? Or is it enough? And Tim, if and we have to assume that this passed by apartment? If it is legislation in its current form, do you think it does enough to address [00:09:48] what happened? I mean, it's certainly not enough. But it's a gesture. What what can be enough if someone's life has been raised And then in most cases, there's been huge damage to these lives in all cases has been wrecked some people have gone on to lead very valuable lives in terms in terms of people around the but in many cases being huge damage this loads and in some cases [00:10:27] chaotic damage. [00:10:31] You know, how can you How can you How can you pay back for [00:10:40] what could you do to atone for that kind of [00:10:44] evil [00:10:46] Has there ever been because I don't think there has been you would know if there had been any official apology ever not [00:10:56] would that help them [00:11:00] Everything, everything helps. And it does depend on on the sense of the sense of meaning behind it, you know, where it comes from and the sense of, of authenticity that that lies behind the apology. You know, but the fact is that [00:11:36] the bunch of tags who [00:11:41] go in like louts into a gay venue and have fun [00:11:50] you know, risking people's lives, [00:11:55] some of them as cool as [00:11:58] going elsewhere, but celebration Leading the police [00:12:02] and they're not going to [00:12:06] apologize there's no way they can upload [00:12:11] like this to Canada I mean I anyone could apologize anyone could knowledge that they got it wrong in the past [00:12:20] and and in a way it's the police who were the vehicle through which society [00:12:30] and it's it's it's them [00:12:39] in a way bear the brunt of [00:12:44] society's responsibility [00:12:48] for a lot of this stuff [00:12:54] it's interesting compensation argument now to summit stained because I was thinking of those who got caught up in the whole anti gay thing who I don't think were convicted of anything. And it was just through. I'm thinking of column oil now you can you remember better than meat maybe column oh he was a labor politician in the 1970s he was made for by Muldoon for being gay. And I don't think he was ever prosecuted. No, but yet, I mean that effect he was at one point cnet's been a potential Labour leader when the affair blew up in the media. That was it for his political career. He did get into end up in Parliament, the Minister of Agriculture, the Labour government, [00:13:42] he was never the same. He never had the same authority. The never the same kind of compelling potential leader that he had the mountain us an anti gay slur to really destroy him. [00:14:08] So how does one compensate somebody like that? You can't really, can you? But you could compensate those who've been convicted. Is it worth because I know that Bill English has said as far as he's concerned, we're not going to compensate people. So [00:14:24] I think, I think, I think some monetary compensation would be appropriate. How you would I mean, anything would be a gesture and how you would arrange it, I don't know probably have to be as fit some. Perhaps you could set up a small commission and say and get a variable some depending on on a number of criteria and it could be assessed [00:15:04] They don't want to open up what would be a slightly complicated process. Actually dent in video that many people who would who would want to go there because of the because I don't think would be many people who who asked for. [00:15:24] For the same reasons people don't want to open it up. [00:15:28] But I fear that it just be too many people too much work too much money. And [00:15:40] we mean, when you look back now it's 31 years since the law was changed, and that was seen as a great victory. For I think for liberal activists maybe well, I think every for anyone who believed in human rights really in 1986 But I still hear quite a lot of sadness and you voice spill. [00:16:05] Well, [00:16:07] it was [00:16:11] an amazing time. And it was wonderful to be on [00:16:17] the winning side it would have been terrible if we hadn't won. But [00:16:24] there was also [00:16:27] we were fighting against the real hood. And the hood just doesn't go away. It was there. There. There are a lot of people whose was much so they couldn't stand it. And, you know, there were people is suicide and there are still people who can't cope. I'm a counselor that I come across kids come from quite liberal families. Families wouldn't like the idea of discrimination in the workplace that can can't cope with their own kids being gay [00:17:23] and [00:17:27] certainly can't cope with a kid [00:17:31] seeing trends [00:17:34] and people, kids getting kicked out at home and 16 years old. [00:17:42] 16 years old. [00:17:46] Why do you think that is now? Now 31 years later, Bill [00:17:51] I I think people [00:17:56] theory very slow to a scalar [00:18:01] straitjacket [00:18:05] rigid [00:18:07] gender regionals [00:18:09] they're frightened by. It's fair, don't you think fear of, of your kid not been something. But I think in the end, it's a fear that drives parents if they end up making that kind of mistake. [00:18:23] But the kid kicked out of home, you can guarantee that they'll at least go through a period of suicidality [00:18:34] every time [00:18:39] Yes, I get through that this token and then get to get through some bitterness. [00:18:46] Now the parents will cope eventually. [00:18:49] Give them a year to you So [00:18:53] in most cases, come around [00:18:57] but that's terrible thing to put the [00:19:00] 16 year old [00:19:03] kids for [00:19:04] me I'm it save a lot of time and thanks of I didn't take so long [00:19:09] and life [00:19:14] pill it's been great talking with you. Thanks very much for joining us. [00:19:18] Thank you, Brian, [00:19:19] Bill Logan, gay activist, talking about legislation which will if it's passed, expand or at least allow men who were convicted of homosexual activity before the law change of 1986 to apply to have the criminal conviction expunged from the criminal record.
This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.