The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) has today called on the State government to expunge the convictions of people convicted for homosexual sexual intercourse prior to 1984.

“30 years after decriminalisation, it is time for people who were unjustly convicted prior to 1984 to be able to have their convictions removed,” GLRL Convenor Dr Justin Koonin said.

The GLRL has also called on the Government to expunge the convictions of people who were convicted of sexual offences between 1984 and 2003, but who would not have been, were it not for the unequal age of consent laws that operated in NSW during that time.

“The unequal age of consent was always fundamentally unjust, discriminating between homosexual and heterosexual intercourse, and created an additional class of people in NSW who should now be able to apply to have their old convictions removed,” Dr Koonin added.

On the weekend, the state of Victoria announced similar moves to expunge historical sex convictions.

Convenor Justin Koonin commented, “2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in NSW and it is a time to reach out to those who were wrongly convicted and have often suffered as a result.”

Dr Koonin added, “A commitment to equality and justice requires that we expunge these convictions, resulting from charges that today would not be upheld in a court of law. In a democracy, when societal values change, the legal system needs to adapt, and it has to make room for some form of redress too. Expunging historical convictions for acts no longer considered a crime is a practical, and powerful, way to do this.”

During 2014, the GLRL will also be calling for a parliamentary apology to people who were unjustly affected by these discriminatory laws.