Today Parliament apologised to gay men convicted for homosexual offences decriminalised by the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986, an act championed by then Labour MP, Fran Wilde.
With a bill to pardon convictions for consensual acts in regards to an estimated 1,000 rainbow Kiwis also unanimously passing its first reading today, this is a move long overdue for our wider community, nation and our families.
Able to be awarded on behalf of the deceased, Labour's Grant Robertson highlighted the effect these convictions had on those who had them unjustly inflicted upon their lives.
"Hundreds, possibly thousands of lives have been lost because men could not bear the shame, the stigma and the hurt caused by this Parliament and the way that society viewed them as criminals."
"Let us be clear. The illegality of homosexuality, the arrests and the imprisonments, and the fear of that happening did not just ruin lives and destroy potential. It killed people. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of lives have been lost because men could not bear the shame, the stigma, and the hurt caused by this Parliament and the way that society viewed them as criminals. It is for all of that that we must apologise, and as a Government and as a Parliament, to those men who are still alive and to those who have passed on and their families."
"That is why, as a member of our cross-party rainbow group, we have been fighting for visibility in the education sector, which is why we have said to the Education Review Office: "Why aren't you specifically looking at the well-being of our LGBTIQ when you go to our high schools?" That is why we have highlighted in the health sector—and I have got a meeting with Minister Coleman coming up—that our intersex children's health needs are not being met, that our trans children's health needs are not being met."