It’s super easy to forget that it was only 21 years ago that the Australian government passed the ‘Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act – Section 4′, after a landmark human rights case launched by gay rights activist Nicholas Toonan.
But despite the federal government and all other State governments repealing the outdated sodomy laws, Tassie refused to get with the times, and didn’t decriminalise homosexual activity until 1997.
THAT’S ONLY 18 YEARS AGO. Mind-blowing, right? It’s so crazy that homosexual sex was a crime in our lifetime, let alone such a short time ago.
AND, some men from Tasmania still, in 2015, have to carry criminal records due to being convicted of homosexual activities. But not for much longer, thankfully.
Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin has said that new legislation is being brought in by the Tassie State Government and Opposition parties, which will repeal all criminal records for consensual homosexual acts.
Goodwin also said that the decrim was not enough:
“The repeal did not address the implications for those with existing criminal records pertaining to consensual homosexual activity.”“The legislation will ensure that any individual prosecuted under these offences will no longer suffer distress or be disadvantaged by a criminal record in relation to travel, employment, and volunteering.”
Along with the repeal of criminal records, the Tasmanian government will also formally apologise to those affected (alive and deceased), as well their families and loved ones.
Photo: Bob Sodervick / Getty.