Penny Sharpe calls for NSW government to expunge gay sex convictions
Mar05

Penny Sharpe calls for NSW government to expunge gay sex convictions

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:11

Member of the Legislative Council, Penny Sharpe, has called for the NSW government to put an end to discrimination by expunging the records of gay men convicted of homosexual acts prior to 1984.

Whilst homosexuality was decriminalised in NSW thirty years ago, historical convictions remain on the record –  Sharpe’s motion calls for these records to be expunged. The motion, made last night, also calls for a number of further reforms, such as a ban on gay therapy, and an amendment to the Anti Discrimination Act 1977 to narrow exemptions provided to religious organisations in education, healthcare, community services, aged care and other areas of public life; and a  commitment to implementing a state-wide anti-homophobia program in all NSW schools.

Sharpe said expunging historical convictions for homosexual sexual intercourse before 1984 is a matter of justice.

She told SX, “Although we don’t know exact numbers, there are many men in NSW today who have lived their lives with a conviction that has had practical and personal ramifications.  

The Victorian Government has announced that that the state government will introduce legislation allowing anyone with a historical conviction for gay sex to have it expunged from their record.

Sharpe said NSW should follow suit. “Here in NSW we should move towards doing the same – including removing convictions for people convicted between 1984-2003 who would not have been convicted except for unequal age of consent laws at that time.

“On the 30th anniversary of decriminalisation of homosexuality, it’s time that we make sure love is not a crime,” Sharpe said.

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