New Zealand’s MPs unanimously apologized today for the “tremendous hurt and suffering” of hundreds of New Zealand men who were convicted of homosexuality during the years it was treated as a crime.
The NZ Parliament issued a formal apology to all those unfairly convicted under the old laws, and approved the first stage of a bill that will allow the men to have their criminal records wiped clean.
“Today we are putting on the record that this House deeply regrets the hurt and stigma suffered by the many hundreds of New Zealand men who were turned into criminals by a law that was profoundly wrong, and for that we are sorry,” said Justice Minister Amy Adams.
Nazi era gay prisoners with their pink triangles | Public domain | 17116
After decades of lobbying, Germany’s parliament has voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under the Nazi-era law known as article 175 of the penal code that remained in force after the second world war.
An estimated 5,000 of those found guilty under the statute are still alive, and can now clear their names.
Gay men convicted under the law are also to receive a lump sum of €3,000 and an additional €1,500 for each year they spent in prison.
The “Turing Law”, or to give it its correct name the Police and Crime Act 2017, which grants automatic pardons to gay men who were convicted of obsolete sexual crimes under the old Sexual Offences Acts and who have since died, and allows living convictees to apply for a pardon, has received the Royal Assent.
Gay Activist understands that pardons have been automatically granted to 59,000 men who have died.
16,000 men who are still alive will be asked to fill out a form to have the conviction removed from criminal records.
Amy Adams | Radio New Zealand | 17028
New Zealand will quash historical convictions for consensual sex between men. In 1986 the Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed, decriminalising sex between men above 16 years old.
Justice Minister Amy Adams said an application process will be introduced and cases will be judged individually.
Convictions for consensual sex between men prior to that will still appear in criminal history checks and may have to be disclosed in job applications.
About 1,000 people could be eligible to apply.
File photo | Haaretz | 17023
49,000 gay and bisexual men found guilty of decades-old sexual offences in England and Wales have been posthumously pardoned. The pardons were first announced last year and have now been officially rubber-stamped after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent.
The 49,000 men will be cleared of crimes of which they would be innocent today.
Statutory pardons will also be granted to people still living who apply to have their convictions removed. The men involved were found guilty of committing now-abolished offences while in consensual relationships.
Jeffrey Dudgeon, who fought to get homosexuality legalised in Northern Ireland, branded the Northern Ireland government a disgrace over its failure to grant pardons to gay men convicted of obsolete crimes.
Justice Minister Claire Sugden said her ministry would consider the matter.
The Scottish government is to move to pardon men who were convicted of same-sex offences before laws against homosexuality were scrapped. Private homosexual acts between men aged over 21 were decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, but the law in Scotland was not changed until 1980.
Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said it was “shocking” to consider that consensual sex between men was only decriminalised in 1980, and ages of consent not equalised until 2001. He said he was working with Police Scotland to have convictions disregarded, with an “automatic pardon” for those convicted of now-legal activity.
Justice Minister Sam Gyima on Friday filibustered a bill that would pardon gay men still alive but who were convicted in the past of now-abolished laws against homosexuality in the U.K.— a day after announcing that the government will back a previously proposed alternative.
Gyima stated that the government would not support a private members’ bill that sought to automatically pardon thousands of gay men who were still alive and had past convictions before homosexuality was decriminalized. To cries of “shame” in the House of Commons, Gyimah filibustered the bill on Friday afternoon.
Why a British Bill That Would Pardon Men Convicted of Overturned Gay Sex Law Was Filibustered
Gay and bisexual men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences in England and Wales are to receive posthumous pardons, the government has announced.
Thousands of living men convicted over consensual same-sex relationships will also be eligible for the pardon.
Our page on Age of Consent and Sexual Offences (UK) has been updated.
Proposals to introduce a new law to pardon gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws will be brought forward “in due course”, the government has said. It could see thousands of men pardoned for crimes of which they would be innocent today.
A government spokesman said it was “committed” to the proposal. “This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now. We will bring forward our proposals in due course.”