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Wiremu Demchick

Wiremu Demchick talks to Simon Mercep about the petition to get historic convictions for consexual homosexual activity wiped from criminal records.

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This professional summary delineates the primary content of an audio recording between Wiremu Demchick and interviewer Simon Mercep. The interview, conducted in Wellington, New Zealand, focuses on Demchick's initiative to petition for the expungement of historic convictions for consensual homosexual activities from criminal records.

The discussion opens with context, referencing the case of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who was posthumously pardoned after being convicted for homosexual acts. Turing's story has gained renewed attention due to the film "The Imitation Game," spurring activism to address similar historical injustices.

Demchick began the petition in late November, aiming to collect 3,000 signatures to demonstrate public support to the government for addressing this issue. Despite the challenging timing of initiating this action during the holiday season, the petition is gradually gathering momentum, and around 300 signatures had been collected at the time of the interview.

The conversation sheds light on the broader implications of such convictions. Demchick details that while exact numbers are hard to pinpoint, there are potentially over a thousand individuals in New Zealand with historical convictions for consensual same-sex interactions. Clarified is that the petition strictly focuses on consensual acts among adults, as unrelated offenses involving minors should remain on the books.

Demchick expresses that many people living with such convictions might find them a burdensome remembrance, despite a possibility that the Clean Slate act could mitigate the practical consequences of such records. The petition also symbolizes broader support for the LGBTQ+ community, potentially reducing stigma.

The personal significance of this campaign for Demchick is highlighted, emphasizing empathy for friends within the LGBTQ+ community and the shock at learning about these outdated convictions remaining on record. Demchick urges those interested in the petition to visit their website to download and collect signatures, with contact details also provided.

Government response to the initiative is also under discussion. Demchick has engaged in cross-party communications without definitive government feedback. However, Green Party MP Kevin Haig's involvement indicates some political interest in addressing the issue.

Plans for presenting the petition to Parliament are scheduled for early March, aligning with the anniversary of the introduction of the bill to repeal crimes of homosexuality thirty years prior.

To conclude, the conversation between Wiremu Demchick and Simon Mercep revolves around the pressing matter of expunging historical convictions for homosexual activity. It portrays the motivations behind the petition, the traction it is gaining, and the path forward for bringing this social justice initiative to the legislative forefront.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Broadcast date:2nd February 2015
Interviewer:Simon Mercep
Audio courtesy of:Radio New Zealand
Location:Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand
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