The abolition of homosexual sex crimes in Victoria

For a long time, it has been possible to criminalise homosexual people for engaging in consensual sexual acts.  The Victorian Crimes Act criminalised consensual acts which are now legal today as acts of "homosexual indecency." 

The Victorian Parliament recognised the serious discrimination and ongoing harm to those people who have been prosecuted by passing the Sentencing Amendment (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Act 2014.

From 1 September 2015, Victorian men who have historical convictions for gay sex crimes and other similar offences will be able to have these removed from their criminal records.

This new legislation will allow men who were convicted of these types of historic homosexual "crimes" (for example the crime of 'loitering for homosexual purposes') to apply to the Department of Justice to have their convictions permanently erased from their criminal records.

This Act, the first of its kind in Australia, is aimed at removing stigma and difficulty in the way that convicted individuals go about their lives.

For example, past convictions have hampered the ability of individuals to obtain certain jobs, including teaching and other volunteer positions particularly those roles which involve working with children.

Travel restrictions resulting from criminal records will also no longer affect those who will have had their historical convictions quashed.

The Act recognizes that people should not be subjected to unjust discrimination on account of their sexuality and put an end to the harm that the convictions have caused.


 

Laura McDonnell  | Lawyer

 

Family & Relationship Law

 

+61 3 9269 9618

lmcdonnell@landers.com.au

 

 


 

Jodylee Bartal  | Senior Associate

 

Family & Relationship Law

 

+61 3 9269 9151

jbartal@landers.com.au