Ireland apologizes to men convicted of historical gay sex crimes

Men convicted for having consensual sex with other men in Ireland, before it was decriminalised, will get an apology today.

The all-party supported motion will say the law prior to 1993 caused harm to gay people, their families and friends.

Labour senator Ged Nash tabled the motion to the Irish parliament. It’s expected to get the support of the Cabinet this morning.

Members of both the upper and lower houses will offer a formal apology to men convicted under anti-gay laws.

Ireland’s prime minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the nation’s first openly gay leader, will later deliver a key speech in the lower house, or Dáil.

Today’s apology comes ahead of a reception scheduled to take place at Dublin Castle on Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of decriminalization.

The campaign to rid Ireland of its anti-gay laws started in 1977. It was eventually repealed in 1993.

Ireland joins a raft of governments that have issued apologies over such laws in recent months. Last week the state of Queensland in Australia issued a similar apology to men it had convicted under similar legislation.

The move comes just days ahead of this year’s Dublin Pride Festival which runs from 21 – 30 June. The city’s Pride Parade will take place 30 June.

On 7 June Scotland pardoned men who were convicted under its old laws. Consensual sex between men over the age of 21 were illegal in Scotland until 1981. The age of consent there fell to 16 in 2001.

The Scottish parliament said the bill was ‘to correct a historical wrong’ that was once used to discriminate against same-sex sexual activity.

G50+ Staff

G50+ Staff

Gay 50 Plus writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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