New Zealand Pardons Gays for Past Sex Crimes

New Zealand Pardons Gays for Past Sex Crimes

The New Zealand parliament has passed a bill that has expunged 1,000 men of past convictions on homosexual activities. The unanimous vote will remove it from their criminal records. New Zealand officially ended the criminalization of “sodomy,” indecency between males,” and “keeping a place of resort for homosexual acts” back in 1986, but until this vote, the men who were convicted held criminal records. The new law will also allow family members of deceased men to be cleared of their “crime.”

“I would like to apologize again to all the men and members of the rainbow community who have been affected by the prejudice, stigma and other negative effects caused by convictions for historical homosexual offences,” Justice Minister Andrew Little said. “This bill sends a clear signal that discrimination against gay people is no longer acceptable, and that we are committed to putting right wrongs from the past,” Little said.

 

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