NSW follows VIC on gay sex convictions

Thirty years ago gay men faced jail time for homosexuality-related offences in NSW.

Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith introduced his private member’s bill in NSW parliament on Thursday which he said would correct the wrongs of the past.

“No one should have to continue to suffer the disadvantage of having a criminal conviction for sexual activity with another consenting adult,” he told the chamber.

“This bill allows these convictions to be extinguished and delivers a socially just and responsible outcome.”

The Victorian government earlier this week introduced similar legislation in its parliament to enable historical convictions to be expunged.

The Human Rights Law Centre has applauded the NSW move and says unknown numbers of men live with barriers to work and travel because of these convictions.

The advocacy group says acknowledging the laws were wrong would start to heal the harm they had caused.

The Victorian government decriminalised homosexual acts in 1981 while NSW decriminalised it in 1984.

Mr Notley-Smith’s bill, if passed, would also allow women and transgender people to apply for convictions to be extinguished.

Debate on the bill was adjourned.

This article on gay sex convictions originally appeared on Yahoo 7 News Sep 18, 2014