Amy Adams wants to apologise to gay men

The Government will make a formal apology… to New Zealand men who were convicted of homosexual offences under outdated laws.

Justice Minister Amy Adams will move a motion in Parliament before the first reading of a bill which will allow people to have convictions for homosexual activity wiped.

The motion will read: “I move that this House apologise to those homosexual New Zealanders who were convicted for consensual adult activity, and recognise the tremendous hurt and suffering those men and their families have gone through, and the continued effects the convictions have had on them.”

Adams’ office said the motion had been circulated and discussed with all parties in Parliament, who will be given an opportunity to speak.

I’m not sure an apology is needed.  It would mean that the people who enforced the law back then made some kind of mistake.  And I reject that strongly.   We had laws that needed enforcement.  At no stage should we have to apologise for that.

Around 1000 New Zealanders were convicted of indecency between males, sodomy, or keeping places of resort for homosexual before law reform in 1986.

Not all of them will be eligible to have their records wiped because they were also convicted of other offences.

When the law change was announced, Adams said those with convictions “continued to be tainted with the stigma of criminality”. Past laws criminalising homosexual acts had not represented modern New Zealand for some time, she said.

No problem with the convictions for unlawful homosexual acts being removed from records in the light of subsequent law reform.

But a formal apology by the State for enforcing the law at the time is absurd.


– NZ Herald

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