Government apology to gay men convicted of homosexual acts today

The Government will today formally apologise in Parliament to gay men convicted of homosexual acts.

Cabinet says it’s considering clearing convictions that came about before the 1986 law change. Source: 1 NEWS

Justice Minister Amy Adams will deliver the apology in Parliament ahead of the first reading of a bill that will expunge historic convictions.

The 1961 Crimes Act outlawed male sex, whether it was consensual or not.

"I move that this House apologise to those homosexual New Zealanders who were convicted for consensual adult activity, and recognise the tremendous hurt and suffering those men and their families have gone through, and the continued effects the convictions have had on them," the motion will state.

The Cabinet will consider clearing convictions before the 1986 law change, 1 NEWS can confirm. Source: 1 NEWS

Last year, 1 NEWS revealed that men would get the right to apply for a pardon under the proposed new law.

In February, Ms Adams said she had considered the proposition when campaigners delivered a petition to parliament and she apologised for the trauma suffered by those convicted.

It's believed around 400 men were convicted of 'homosexual acts' before the law change decriminalised sexual contact between men.

The offenses which could be wiped include indecency between males, sodomy and keeping places of resort for homosexual acts.

The fight to change that met fierce resistance, and although reform won, convictions were never erased.

In late January, the United Kingdom issued thousands of posthumous pardons for homosexual acts which are now no longer considered a crime.

In the British system, there is already a process in place for the living to apply to have past convictions relating to same-sex relationships removed from their records.