Government Will Offer Formal Apology To LGBT+ Community Who Endured Homosexual Criminalisation

A cross-party motion is set to be passed by the Irish Government which will recognise the injustice endured by people convicted of “homosexuality offences” prior to 1993.

Leinster House Dáil Government

The Government is expected to make an official apology this evening to LGBT+ people who were persecuted for their sexuality before the decriminalisation 25 years ago.

The motion was proposed by Labour Senator Ged Nash and will be brought to the Cabinet meeting this morning.

It is anticipated that it will receive all-party support in the Dáil and Seanad and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is set to deliver a key speech in the Dáil.

The motion will say that the law prior to 1993 caused harm to the LGBT+ community in Ireland and to their family and friends.

The Dáil will acknowledge that the laws “were improperly discriminatory, contrary to human dignity and an infringement of personal privacy and autonomy; caused multiple harms to those directly and indirectly affected, namely men who engaged in consensual same-sex activities and their families and friends” and “had a significant chilling effect on progress towards equality for the LGBTI community, acknowledging in particular the legacy of HIV/AIDS within the context of criminalisation”.

The Dáil will also acknowledge the hurt and harm done to those who were deterred from being open and honest about their identity by the laws and that it “prevented citizens from engaging in civil and political life and deprived society of their full contribution”.

Wicked Dublin MPU

Senator Nash said: “This historic motion represents an important reckoning with our past.

“The State inherited draconian laws we applied over many decades to persecute and prosecute gay men merely for being who they were.

“It took until 1993 for Irish lawmakers to show the moral courage to banish these cruel, antiquated and inhumane laws from our statute books.

“Apart altogether from those who were convicted of offences that no longer exist, the chilling effect of having such harsh and discriminatory laws in place had a negative impact on progress towards equality for the LGBTI community.

“I look forward to this powerful statement being made in both Houses of the Oireachtas… and I am hopeful that support will be garnered from across the political spectrum.”

Last week, Varadkar confirmed an event will be held by the State to mark the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality at the end of June which will see approximately 700 activists invited to Dublin Castle.

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