Rainbow Rights welcome legislation to remove historical convictions

Rainbow Rights WA (RRWA) has commended the Western Australian Government on fulfilling the commitment made during the 2017 State election to offer an Apology to the LGBTI community for the wrongs of the past whereby good people became convicted criminals based on who they loved.

Rainbow Rights WA Chair, Jonathon Mann said the apology that Premier Mark McGowan will deliver this afternoon was a positive sign that showed the WA government valued the LGBTI+ community.

“This apology will send a clear message that a State Government that once condemned gay men, is now a State Government that values its LGBTI+ community.” Mann said.

“These men lived and loved in a pervasive political and social climate of state sanctioned homophobia”

Members of Rainbow Rights WA have shared their recollections of living in Western Australia prior to the decriminalisation of homosexulaity.

“‘The lived experience of gay men was often harassment and oppression. We lived in fear.” Rainbow Rights member Mark said in a press release.  While another member, Neil, recalled the laws creating a constant state of anxiety.

“My memory is really one of fear. Fear of persecution for being gay; of gay bashings and the inevitable victim blaming; fear of entrapment, fear of embarrassing your family; the constant anxiety of knowing that society thought of you as a criminal… conviction or not.”

The gay rights lobby group has described the Expungement of Historical Gay Convictions legislation as the most important legislative change since the Gallop Government’s Gay and Lesbian Law Reform of 2002.

 

OIP Staff, image: Rainbow Rights members at Parliament House in 2016. 


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