New Zealand passes the law to pardon gay men

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New Zealand’s Parliament has unanimously passed a law that will expunge convictions for homosexuality when it was considered a crime in the country. Nearly 1,000 men were found guilty of homosexual offences between 1965 and the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1986. They will now be able to apply for those convictions to be deleted. If the convicted person is not alive anymore, his representatives or family members can apply for the conviction to be erased. Unlike similar laws overturning convictions in Canada and Germany, however, the moral damages won’t be compensated financially, criminal records will be cleaned and that’s all. Minister of Justice Andrew Little welcomed the bill as well as Grant Robertson, the Minister of Finance, who is also openly gay, and a number of other LGBT MPs. The move came about because of Wiremu Demchick, a 26-year-old IT developer who petitioned Parliament in 2016 for an apology and expungement after gathering more than 2,100 signatures.

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