Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has officially opened a public consultation on the scheme to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men who engaged in consensual same-sex activity before decriminalisation in 1993. Launched on Friday, November 4, the survey will run online until it closes on December 9.
Although anyone may add their feedback, affected persons and representative organisations are particularly being encouraged to provide input on a number of key issues based on their lived experiences. Responses gathered will inform the final recommendations of a dedicated Working Group who are examining the development of the disregard scheme.
The survey consists of seven questions, asking how the scheme could be made more accessible, how to encourage participation, and how to minimise the possibility of re-traumatising applicants, amongst other things. Following the closure of the consultation, the Working Group will prepare a summary report giving an overview of the submissions, and identifying key themes that will go on to inform its final recommendations.
— LGBT Disregard (@LGBTDisregard) November 4, 2022
“We want to ensure that any potential scheme is as effective and accessible as possible so that we can exonerate those impacted by these outdated laws and address some of the lingering harms of the past,” Minister McEntee said.
“I would encourage any of the affected men, their families, loved ones and the wider LGBTQ+ community to engage with this consultation so that we can be mindful of their unique perspectives as we move forward.”
She added: “The damage that was caused by these laws continues to impact negatively on too many people’s lives. While we cannot undo the hurt inflicted on people who were discriminated against for simply being themselves. We can contribute to the healing process.
Ms McEntee once again reinforced that her and her team are committed to introducing the disregard scheme, and addressing “the individual harm that was done to generations of gay and bisexual men”.
The consultation survey can be taken on the Government website, through email to [email protected], or by post to Disregard Team, Strategic Policy, Planning and Research, Criminal Justice, Department of Justice, 51 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 HK52, Ireland.
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