TVNZ OneNews source - A petition has been organised for historic gay sex convictions to be wiped from New Zealanders' records, after the Government announced it would consider the move.
Sex between men was illegal until 1986 and punishable by up to seven years in prison, and many in the gay community say that stigma still hangs over them.
Well before he found literary fame as Frank Sargeson, Norris Frank Davey was arrested for having a series of homosexual encounters during the late 1920s.
Sex between men was illegal until the Homosexual Law Reform Bill was passed 29 years ago.
"People like myself and others who were very vocal and very out, if the bill didn't go through we would have been targets," says Des Smith, a gay rights activist.
Mr Smith and his partner John Jolliff have been fighting for gay rights for decades, and now they want the hundreds of gay sex convictions held by New Zealanders to be wiped.
And they're not alone. Wellington man Wiremu Demchick has started a petition.
"It allows for people still living with the public disgrace brought by conviction to live the last years of their life in a better state than before," he says.
A petition has been organised for historic gay sex convictions to be wiped from New Zealanders' records, after the Government announced it would consider the move.
WASHINGTON, Jun 25 – A top aide to President Barack Obama Tuesday singled out nations including Russia, Uganda and Brunei as the worst transgressors against gay rights — and warned governments everywhere must outlaw discrimination.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice told a forum of Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) activists at the White House that the choice to love a partner of the same sex was a fundamental human right.
“In many places, allies and supporters of the LGBT community are also penalized,” Rice said.
“New laws in Uganda and Nigeria incite the fear of arrest and detention for those who provide health services or defend basic legal rights in court.
“In addition to the pernicious so-called ‘propaganda’ law already on the books, proposed legislation in Russia would allow the government to take children away from their gay parents,” Rice warned.
“In seven countries — eight, if Brunei continues on its path — same-sex acts are punishable by death.”
Rice said that laws limiting gay rights around the world often have strong public support and that it was up to local authorities to ensure that cultural differences did not become an excuse for human rights violations.
“Governments are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, and it is incumbent upon the state, and upon each of us, to foster tolerance and reverse the tide of discrimination.”
Obama has made a point of putting the fight for LGBT rights around the world at the center of US foreign policy.
Washington for instance, last week cancelled a military air exercise, imposed visa bans and froze some aid to Uganda over what it said was the country’s “vile” anti-gay laws.
Last year, while on a trip to Senegal, Obama told Africans that people should be treated equally under the law whatever their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
In February, Obama included gay athletes in the US delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics to show the United States would not abide discrimination in international sport.
The move followed a warning by a senior Russian official that athletes or spectators should not promote gay rights during the Olympics following the passage of controversial anti-gay legislation in Russia.
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