Petition to wipe gay sex convictions

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There is an increasing amount of support for historical convictions for gay sex between consenting adults to be removed from people’s police records.

Sex between men was illegal until 1986, punishable by up to seven years in prison, and many in the gay community say that stigma still hangs over them.

Wellington man Wiremu Demchick has started a petition to have the convictions deleted, with the Justice Minister indicating she’s at least willing to listen.

Mr Demchick says wiping records clean will allow “for people still living with the public disgrace brought by conviction to live the last years of their life in a better state than before”.

Many on Facebook say it’s a good idea, and overdue.

“I think it’s ridiculous it was a crime in the first place, and holding it against someone even though it’s now legal is ridiculous,” Sean Bryan Thomas Rofe posted.

House Davidson commented: “I think wiping the records of people convicted due to an archaic and draconian law in a way that trampled on what I think is a basic human right is for the betterment of the country.”

The Clean Slate Act means those convicted before 1986 don’t need to declare it. But campaigners like gay community leader Malcolm Kennedy Vaughan, who has been handing out the petition in his bar, say that’s not the same as having the convictions annulled.

“I don’t think it’s the same at all. Isn’t that like sweeping it under the carpet, pretending it never happened?” he says.

Justice Minister Amy Adams […] said although she’s happy to listen to submissions on the subject, there would be a number of practical difficulties in wiping the historic convictions.

Opponents of the petition appear to be in a minority on Facebook.

“Homosexuality IS a crime against nature!” Aidan Work posted.

Mr Demchick is hoping for at least 3000 signatures before he presents his petition to Parliament in March.

I’m sure he’ll get them too.   Apart from the kind of people that see homosexuality as a birth defect, it seems entirely sensible to expunge this historical convictions when these days the same people can have sex, get married, adopt and otherwise live a non-criminal life.

 

– One News


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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