The Victorian Government will make a formal State apology to the LGBTI community in Parliament for those convicted under unjust and prejudiced laws against homosexual acts.
Speaking at Melbourne’s iconic annual Midsumma Pride March, Premier Daniel Andrews reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to acknowledging the shameful historic laws that criminalised homosexuality in Victoria.
Before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1980, men could be sentenced for up to 15 years in prison for having consensual sex with other men.
The State apology will take place on Tuesday, 24 May, 2016.
Today’s announcement follows the introduction of significant legal reforms as part of the new expungement process, and continues the Andrews Government’s work to combat stigma and discrimination as part of the equality agenda.
The new scheme commenced in September last year, and Victorians are now able to apply to expunge historical convictions for consensual sex and fraternisation.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1980, but for those convicted under the old laws, it’s been a long wait to clear their names.”
“These laws cast a long, dark shadow of prejudice that still stands today, and our apology is one small but meaningful way to right that historic wrong.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley
“The Andrews Labor Government is making this apology as an important step towards healing the hurt of LGBTI Victorians who were so unfairly labelled criminals.”