Media Release: Wednesday, 26th September, 2012: Australian Democrats say: Expunge the criminal record of Sodomy

DARREN CHURCHILL
National Campaign Director
darren.churchill@democrats.org.au
Tel: 0412 196 473

Media Release: Wednesday, 26th September, 2012:

Australian Democrats say: Expunge the criminal record of Sodomy

State governments must act to redress a long-standing wrong and expunge the criminal records of men convicted of sodomy under previous, antiquated laws, say the Australian Democrats.

“The stigma of a criminal conviction continues to hang over the lives of these citizens, many of whom are now quite elderly,” Democrats’ National Campaign Director said today. “We have unfinished business to complete here.”

Federal law decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting adults in the ACT in 1973 and South Australia was the first state to decriminalise sex between consenting men in 1975; Tasmania the last in 1997.

The United Kingdom is expunging historic convictions for consensual gay sex with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which received Royal Assent on 1st May.

UK hyperlink: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/sep/02/home-office-gay-sex-convictions

“The Democrats’ position on this matter is driven by the essential principles of justice, equality and human rights.

“Australian states and territories have an obligation to further redeem the past wrongs imposed by bad laws and enforced by bigots by enacting new spent conviction legislation that erases the criminal record of gay men prior to the decriminalisation of homosexual conduct.

“We are all diminished by forcing many hundreds of gay men to carry this criminal record burden for activities that are now properly accepted as legal by society.” Mr Churchill concluded.

Media contacts:

Darren Churchill

Tel: 0412 196 473

 

David Collyer:

Tel: 0413 248 193

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