Western Australia to officially apologise to gay men
Western Australia is the latest state to come forward to officially apologise to those convicted under former laws criminalising homosexual activities in the state.
The government will also wipe all records of criminal convictions for these so-called offences during that period.
Following the lead of the Premier of Victoria and the Queensland Premier, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan will apologise to parliament this Wednesday.
Criminal offences appertaining to homosexuality were decriminalised in the state in 1990.
Tasmania, which has not yet pardoned those prosecuted in the state, was the last to decriminalise homosexuality in the country, and did so in 1997.
Nicola Sturgeon announced that she will be taking the same action as First Minister of Scotland in Holyrood next week.
“The apology will be made on behalf of the Scottish government for the treatment of homosexual men under previous governments and will coincide with the introduction of legislation to provide people convicted under these laws an automatic pardon,” said Sturgeon.
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“The bill will right a historic wrong and give justice to those who found themselves unjustly criminalised simply because of who they loved.”
The pardons, which took place in the UK under the Alan Turing law, sAW
Gay man and LGBT activist George Montague criticised the pardons, arguing that a pardon insinuates that a person is guilty.
“I was not guilty of anything,” he said. “I was only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Australians have until 7 November to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be made legal in the country.