April 04, 2018
Path made for gay crime pardon
Parliament has given people with historic convictions for homosexuality a pathway to have their records wiped.
The Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill had unanimous support.
It was introduced after a petition sparked by the Queen’s 2013 posthumous pardon of mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after being found guilty in 1952 of what was called gross indecency.
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says up to 1000 New Zealand men were convicted of consensual adult homosexual acts, and about 128 served prison terms.
The convictions led to shame, prejudice and ostracism.
"I think many of our whanau, and I look at people like Carmen (Rupe) and Georgina (Beyer) who went over to Australia to escape that kind of prejudice and persecution and made lives in other jurisdictions, some of the people we are talking about ended up being involved in drug and alcohol issues for the rest of their lives and in fact like Alan Turing committed suicide," Ms Wall says.
The United Kingdom passed its Alan Turing law last year affecting up to 100,000 men, and Canada, German and most Australian states are on a similar track.
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