Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:34

Commission welcomes strengthening of Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ‘expunged homosexual conviction’

The Commission welcomes the amendment passed last night by the Parliament of Victoria with bipartisan support. These amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 prohibit discrimination on the basis of ‘expunged homosexual conviction’.

This move will enshrine protection against discrimination for people who have old convictions for consenting homosexual sex removed, and further strengthens Victoria’s equal opportunity protections.

The changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 come as the Victorian Parliament made history by becoming the first jurisdiction in the nation to erase old criminal convictions of Victorians who were prosecuted for engaging in consenting homosexual sex prior to 1981.

Under the new legislation, Victorian men who have criminal records due to historical gay sex charges are now able to apply to the Department of Justice to have their convictions expunged.

These historical convictions have caused ongoing harm and hurt to those who were prosecuted.

This legislation will take away convictions handed down by unjust laws and is a major step towards addressing this injustice.

No person should be subjected to unjust discrimination and stigma because of their sexuality.

The Commission recognises the efforts of many people in the community who have fought to decriminalise homosexuality in Victoria over a number of decades to bring about this outcome.

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