LGBTIQ Queenslanders who were charged as criminals for homosexual behaviour in the past can now apply to have that criminal record expunged.
The historic move comes from the State Parliament passing the Criminal Law (Historical Convictions Expungement) Bill 2017 last night – and over 25 years after the decriminalisation of consensual adult homosexual activity in Queensland on 19 January 1991.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the new laws acknowledged and rectified past prejudice, discrimination and injustice against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community.
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“Parliament has provided a humble but meaningful measure of restorative justice to those who have suffered as a result,” she said.
“Such convictions were not only unjust but they could also have far-reaching effects on a person’s employment and travel opportunities.
Anyone who was convicted of homosexuality before it was decriminalised will now be able to apply to have those convictions expunged from their record. Under the legislation, Queensland’s Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General will be responsible for deciding applications for expungement. Decisions will also be able to be reviewed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.