Move to quash gay sex convictions

As reported in The Age, Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark has agreed to consider proposals to see if Victoria could implement laws to allow people with historical convictions for consensual sexual activity to apply to have their records cleared. The HRLC has been assisting men in Victoria and New South Wales who continue to face the stigma of a criminal record, despite the fact the conduct which underpinned their prosecutions has been decriminalized for nearly three decades. This burden is something that may not only harm their mental health, but also negatively impact on their career choices, volunteer opportunities and ability to travel overseas. This move would follow recent reforms by the Cameron Government in Britain and coincides with a recent push to posthumously pardon Alan Turing, the mathematician and computer scientist who was instrumental in the breaking of the Enigma code during World War II but was later found guilty of violating laws banning homosexuality and committed suicide as a result.

Together with organisations such as Liberty Victoria and the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the HRLC will continue to advocate change and work with Government to achieve legislative reform and ensure these historical convictions are expunged from a criminal record check and no longer haunt the lives of gay men.