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Petition calls for pardon for gay men

Thu 4 Dec 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A petition has been set up urging New Zealand to pardon men who were convicted of having gay sex prior to Homosexual Law Reform. Find the petition here From a Homosexual Law Reform March - picture by David Hindley. “In 2016, it will have been 30 years since the Homosexual Law Reform Act was voted into law by the New Zealand House of Representatives,” says petition organiser Wiremu Demchick. “A brave and determined campaign ensured that this vital reform ended the institutionalised persecution of gay men,” he says. “But our work isn't finished. Men convicted of homosexual acts were never pardoned, and thus still have criminal records. “Let's ask Parliament to pardon these men. They have waited long enough for justice.” Justice Minister Amy Adams has stated she is open to discussions about wiping pre-Homosexual Law Reform criminal records. New Zealand has never mass-wiped pre law reform gay sex convictions, however there is capacity for people to have their conviction omitted. While the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act which came into force in 2004 does not automatically conceal sexual offences from someone's record, people can apply to a District Court to have their conviction disregarded. This mechanism was recommended in part to ensure that historical gay sex convictions could be concealed. Following progress in the area in Australia, new Justice Minister Amy Adams has told the Dominion Post she is open to resuming discussions about such convictions being completely expunged.      

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 4th December 2014 - 8:50am

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