Ireland looks set to make amends to those convicted because of their homosexuality and pass the Convictions For Certain Sexual Offences (Apology and Exoneration) Bill
The Convictions For Certain Sexual Offences (Apology and Exoneration) Bill looks set to be introduced after passing to the second stage in the Seanad.
The Bill, which will exonerate those men and women who were convicted of engaging in homosexual behaviour prior to Ireland’s decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993, passed in the Seanad on Wednesday 1st of February.
The Bill was put forward by Senators Ged Nash and Ivana Bacik and it reflects the recent legislation which Northern Ireland and the UK have implemented.
Delighted with the support for my Apology & Exoneration Bill. Government didn't oppose and we will now take it to the next stage @labour
— Gerald Nash (@geraldnash) February 1, 2017
Senator Nash said he was “Delighted with the support for my Apology & Exoneration Bill.”
However, Minister David Stanton outlined concerns that the bill could allow people who were convicted of non-consensual sex acts with people of the same gender to receive an “apology and exoneration”.
Minister Stanton also highlighted the theoretical difficulty that the bill presents regarding whether or not the bill can extend the apology and exoneration to those who were convicted prior to the creation of Saorstát Éireann.
“Despite the concerns expressed, the Government does not, of course, oppose the principle of this Bill,” Stanton said.
“These issues are raised simply to highlight the areas which the Government believes require further consideration if the Bill is to achieve its purpose and not have unintended consequences.
— Ivana Bacik (@ivanabacik) February 1, 2017
“I am sure that Senators sponsoring the Bill will reflect on these issues and consider how best they might be dealt with as the Bill progresses.”
The UK proposed a similar law in 2016, called the Turing Law, which led Northern Ireland and Ireland to follow suit.
Labour’s Senator Ged Nash and Ivana Bacik launched the bill to pardon historic convictions of gay and lesbian people in December 2016.
GCN Editor Brian Finnegan called on the Irish Government to introduce such legislation last October when he spoke on the Marian Finucane show.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.