The Western Australian Premier will this week officially apologise to those convicted under former laws criminalising homosexual activities in the state, with the government also wiping all recorded convictions from the record.
Following on from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who was the first Premier to officially apologise for gay convictions in May 2016, and QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier this year, WA’s Mark McGowan will apologise on behalf of parliament this Wednesday.
Legislation to expunge criminal records of those convicted prior to homosexuality being decriminalised in the state in 1990 will also be introduced.
Many homosexuals still carry with them the historic convictions which not only inhibits employment opportunities, visa applications and the like, but are a constant reminder of the shame and stigma once faced by citizens deemed to have participated in “gross indecency” by their own government.
New South Wales, South Australia, and the ACT also currently have expungement schemes in place, leaving the Northern Territory and Tasmania left, the latter which was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality, only enacting the repeal in 1997.
The news comes coincidentally at the same time as the Scottish government, helmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a similar gesture set for next week.
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