Queensland acts to expunge historic homosexual convictions

Rainbow Flag 630The Palaszczuk Government is honouring its election commitment by taking action to expunge historic convictions for homosexual sex. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said she is tasking the Queensland Law Reform Commission with recommending how historical convictions for consensual homosexual conduct can be removed from a person’s criminal record.

“This is about doing what is right, what is fair and what is just for all Queenslanders,” said Mrs D’Ath. “And it delivers on a significant election commitment we made to the people of this state. This is a complex issue due to the technicalities of Queensland’s Criminal Code and the historic nature of these cases.

“The QLRC will use its experience to consider the best approach to expunge these historical criminal convictions. This sends the clear message that outdated and intolerant attitudes towards our gay community belong in the past. Referring this issue is an important step that shows we are serious about delivering on our election commitment to remove these archaic convictions from the criminal histories of men who should never have been charged.

“Our community recognises that consensual sexual activity between adults should not be treated differently simply because of a person’s sexuality. Our laws have acknowledged consensual homosexual sex as legal since 1991. It’s time to ensure that members of our community are not burdened by criminal convictions for something that should never have been a crime in the first place.”

Mrs D’Ath said the QLRC will consult widely and seek the views of the LGBTIQ community, the public and legal stakeholders as part of the review and report back by 31 August 31 2016.

“There is growing support throughout Australia, and indeed internationally, that past injustices towards our gay community need to be corrected,” said Mrs D’Ath.

Mrs D’Ath thanked the legal and community advocate groups for their input into the development of a major research report designed to assist the Palaszczuk Government in its move to expunge these convictions.

For more information, visit: www.qld.gov.au for details.