binghamcup2014 web

  • Home
  • News
  • Cabbie fined and forced to apologise after gay hate rants
Advocates call for Tasmania to wipe criminal records for gay sex offenders
Jan13

Advocates call for Tasmania to wipe criminal records for gay sex offenders

LAST UPDATED // Monday, 13 January 2014 10:48 Written by // Cec Busby

Over the weekend Victorian Premier Denis Napthine announced the planned expunging of gay sex records between consensual adults, spurring advocates across the Bite, to call for Tasmania’s political parties to join together to do the same.

Tasmania was the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality, it also had some of the severest penalties for consensual sex between men.

As such Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson Rodney Croome said the state government should not only expunge records but also offer an apology to victims of the law.

"As the last state to criminalise homosexuality, and the state which had the heaviest penalties, Tasmania should lead the way on expunging criminal records for male-to-male sex and apologising for the deep damage caused by criminalisation,” Croome said.

"Expunging records will benefit those men who were arrested, but an official apology will go further by benefitting the far larger group of men who suffered, and still suffer, from the prejudice and stigma criminalisation fostered."

"An apology will recognise and begin to heal the pain Tasmania's former anti-gay laws criminal laws inflicted, including blackmail, social exclusion, hate crimes and suicide."

Croome said Tasmania’s Laws were particularly harsh – with a judge able to impose a maximum of 21 years imprisonment – making it one of the most severe punishments for homosexuality in the western world.

Mr Croome said expunging of records and an official apology should only be in relation to private, consenting, male-to-male sex between adults.

The Office of the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner is currently examining the issue of expunging criminal records for male-to-male sex.

Homosexuality was a criminal offence in Tasmania until 1997, when it was finally abolished after a decade long campaign by the UN Human Rights Committee, the Federal Government, the High Court, Amnesty International and a boycott of Tasmanian products.

In 2008 the Hobart city government apologised for the arrest of gay and lesbian righst activists at the Salamanca Markets.

"The Hobart City Council apologised in 2008 for arresting gay law reform advocates at Salamanca Market in 1988, and now its time for the State Parliament to follow suit with a full blown apology for making criminals out of law-abiding gay men, " said Croome.

Image:  Rodney Croome being arrested at the Salamanca Markets circa 1988.

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and GayNewsNetwork.com.au.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.