- Date published:
7:00 am, April 3rd, 2018 - 13 comments
Categories: grant robertson, human rights, identity, labour, national, Politics - Tags: homosexual convictions, homosexual law reform
It is about time. Today Parliament is set to pass a law allowing for the expunging of convictions of adults for engaging in homosexual behaviour.
Parliament will unanimously pass a law [today] allowing the convictions of men for homosexual offences to be expunged from the public record.
Such men are also likely to receive an apology for a second time but there will be no compensation.
Applications for expungement may be made by the men themselves or by a representative, including a family member, if the person with convictions has died.
Several MPs have made personal speeches during the course of the legislation about relatives, including Green MP Marama Davidson and Labour MP Kiritapu Allan.
Among the more personal speeches was one by Grant Robertson, the gay Finance Minister, who said the illegality of homosexuality, the arrests and the imprisonments and the fear of that happening did not only ruin lives and destroy potential.
“It killed people,” he said. “Hundreds or possibly thousands of lives have been lost because men could not bear the shame, the stigma, and the hurt caused by this Parliament and the way that society viewed them as criminals.”
Robertson also addressed the gay men who were not convicted but still lived through it “in the face of discrimination, in the fact of hate … we also owe all of you an apology.”
And credit where credit is due. The law was introduced by National. It is good to see that all parties are working towards the same goal, that is achieving justice for an important part of our community.
I can recall clearly the events of the 1980s when homosexuality was decriminalised and there were all these claims that this would cause the end of the nuclear family, not to mention the end of Western civilisation.
Now is the time to draw a close to a rather dark episode of society’s treatment of a minority. And celebrate our diversity.