Qld to expunge gay sex convictions

Gay Queenslanders will finally have their past convictions for engaging in consensual sex struck from the record.

杭州桑拿

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath announced on Wednesday the government had asked the Queensland Law Reform Commission to advise the best way to expunge past convictions for consensual gay sex.

“This is an important day. This is long overdue, Queensland is one of the last states to take action in relation to historical homosexual convictions,” she said.

“This is about righting the wrongs of the past, laws that should have never been introduced.”

Ms D’Ath said there had been 464 convictions for consensual gay sex in Queensland and 500 cases before the courts.

She said the commission would also need to consider historic convictions for other crimes like rape, because sometimes gay men had pleaded guilty to non-consensual sex with their partners to protect them from also facing charges.

The attorney-general said the consensual gay sex convictions, even spent convictions, still had to be declared by people applying to work in the public services, education and childcare industries.

A tearful Alan Raabe described how being convicted after being entrapped by a Cairns police officer, who pretended to be a consenting gay man, had ruined his life.

“You become isolated in your shame and wanting to hide this,” he said.

“One of the really interesting things I’ve discovered is my story is only one of hundreds and what happened to me … There’s hundreds and hundreds of people out there that this has affected.”

The Queensland Law Reform commission has been asked to report back to the government on how to act by August 31.