PREMIER Mark McGowan has apologised to people convicted of historical LGBTQI sex offences that would not be illegal today.
The Premier made the apology in Parliament before his Attorney-General John Quigley introduced legislation that would see those convictions expunged.
“Mr Speaker, today is about doing what we can to right the wrongs of the past,” Mr McGowan said.
“The Attorney General will shortly read in my Government’s Homosexual Convictions Expungement Bill 2017.
“This Bill establishes a standalone, legislative framework which allows an eligible person to apply for expungement of certain historical homosexual convictions.
“It is long overdue – as is this apology.
“On behalf of the Government of Western Australia, I am sorry for the hurt, for the prejudice, for the active discrimination that ruined lives.
“Our LGBTI community should never suffer injustice or indignity simply because of who they are.
“To all in our LGBTI community today I want you to know that you are good people.
“You are valued, and we are proud of you.”
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the Liberal Party supported the legislation and the Premier’s apology.
“On behalf of the Opposition, I rise to support the apology the Premier has offered to those people who have criminal convictions for a consensual relationship they were involved in which, while deemed illegal in the past, is not illegal today.” he said.
“Parliaments have the opportunity to correct the wrongs of past decisions, and our Parliament has the opportunity to do that.
“A previous Parliament took the first and tentative step to address this matter in the 1990s.
“This Parliament can now go on to complete the job.”