LABOR leader Mark McGowan has formally thrown his support behind Maylands MP Lisa Baker’s campaign to quash historic anti-gay convictions.
Ms Baker raised the issue in a speech to parliament earlier this year, saying the record should be fully cleared for pre-1990 convictions when it was illegal to have gay sex.
Untold hundreds of men were affected and while they can apply for a spent conviction, it doesn’t fully clear the slate and still throws up red flags when applying for security-sensitive jobs or for some overseas travel.
Mr McGowan’s now announced a Labor government will quash convictions for LGBTI people who were convicted under anti-gay laws that no longer exist.
“These laws will go some way to putting right the wrongs of the past,” he said in a statement.
“LGBTI Western Australians should not have to carry the stigma of a criminal record for consensual acts that are no longer considered a crime.
“Frankly, these acts should never have been regarded as a criminal offence and the old laws clearly discriminated against the LGBTI community. People convicted under these laws should not have a criminal record hanging over their head for offences that are no longer illegal.”
We haven’t formally heard back from the premier’s office on this, but early murmurs suggest this’ll have at least some support on both sides of the house.