The Tasmanian government has apologised for the historic criminalisation of homosexuality.
Men who were convicted of “sexual intercourse against the order of nature”, “consensual sexual intercourse between males” and “indecent practices between males” during the time that homosexuality was illegal will have their convictions wiped.
Homosexuality was illegal in Tasmania until 1997. The state was the last Australian territory to decriminalise consensual sex between men. Speaking to the Tasmanian parliament, Acting Attorney-General Matthew Groom said “We are sorry.
“We hope those affected will accept our acknowledgement that those laws were wrong.”
Will Hodgman, the current Premier of Tasmania, said: “It is our view that the broader Tasmanian community would believe that people should never have been charged or convicted in the first place, even if it was thought at the time it was the right thing to do, it was not,”
Cassy O’Connor, leader of Tasmania’s Green Party asked the LGBT+ community “to forgive us for not holding you in our arms.
“This apology doesn’t change the history, but what it does do is make it very clear to those who suffered, those who have fought so hard for change, that the Tasmanian Parliament recognises a terrible historical wrong.”
Thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted under the UK’s historical anti-gay laws have been posthumously pardoned after the so-called “Turing’s Law” took effect earlier this year.
The “historic moment” was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent from the Queen.
The legislation – first announced last year – pardons an estimated 49,000 men convicted of consensual same-sex relations before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, we’re interviewing 12 of our all-time heroes who’ve changed the face of LGBT life for people in Britain and around the globe. You can download and listen to episode one, featuring ‘Lord of the Rings’ star Sir Ian McKellen, below: