New Zealand pardons gay men

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The people accused of homosexuality in New Zealand before it was decriminalized are going to be officially cleared of charges. Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today the move will allow nearly 200 people convicted of homosexuality to have their crimes erased. ‘There is no doubt that homosexual New Zealanders who were convicted and branded as criminals for consensual activity suffered tremendous hurt and stigma, and we are sorry for what those men and their families have gone through and the continued effect the convictions have had on them,’ Adams said. The pardoning is not automatic, the charged gay men or relatives of those of them who died need to apply to the judge for pardoning. ‘Although we can never undo the impact on the lives of those affected, it’s hoped that this scheme will provide a meaningful pathway for the convictions to be expunged,’ Adams added. ‘This means people will be treated as if they had never been convicted and removes the stigma and prejudice which can arise from convictions for homosexual offences.’

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