Homosexual law reform long overdue - Georgina Beyer

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa

Historic convictions for sex between men in New Zealand will be quashed on a case by case basis, for people convicted before homosexual law reform in 1986. Georgina Beyer says this is about the human rights of homosexuals whose lives were impacted under the law of this country. Today's announcement can help address the mistakes of the New Zealand Government.

Today's announcement is a step forward for the gay community concerning historic convictions of sex between men.

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today, “We think this is a case where society is strongly of the view now that this should not be regarded as a conviction even though that was the law at the time. The strength the feeling is this is a situation where we should move to expunge them as I say it is unprecedented.”

Former MP Georgina Beyer told Te Kāea, “It is long overdue it is a red letter day for us as a gay community that this has come and I congratulate all the campaigners who have sought this remedy.”

Convictions will be quashed on a case by case basis and there will be no compensation.

“Regarding compensation we may have to fight that battle another day. The minister has dismissed that out of hand as it won’t be available for those who will have their convictions over turned.”

Today's announcement will be presented in Parliament before legislation is passed.

“I support equality and freedom for all and human rights at the end of the day and this is one little step further in addressing our grievances.”