The Chief Minister made a formal apology in Parliament today to those convicted of consensual “homosexual offences”. Although the offences were removed in 1984, criminal records still exist for those convicted of these offences.
Darwin Community Legal Service raised the matter with the previous government in early 2015 but it has taken more than 3 years for action to be taken.
“The apology and the opportunity for those convicted to clear their names are long overdue” commented CEO Linda Weatherhead. “The convictions were discriminatory and are out of step with a society committed to equality. The fact that they remained on the books demonstrates the need to review legislation to better support human rights.”
“The legislation and apology demonstrate the effectiveness of sustained community advocacy to ensure injustices are rectified” commented Sally Sievers, Anti -Discrimination Commissioner.
Linda Weatherhead DCLS 0417110127
Sally Sievers ADC 89991444