The Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa
On 6 July 2016, the petition was presented to Parliament by MP Kevin Hague. It was referred to the
Justice and Electoral Select Committee, which sought public submissions on the issue.
At this stage, we are awaiting the report of the Select Committee.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I support the aims of the petition?
On 6 July 2016, the petition was submitted to Parliament by MP Kevin Hague. While it is no longer
possible to sign the petition, you can still assist formally by making a submission to the Justice
and Electoral Select Committee; click here for details
submissions closed on 6 October 2016.
What does the petition call for?
The petition is aimed at getting Parliament to work toward reconcilliation with the gay community. It calls for two related actions:
- An official apology to be issued for the systematic persecution of gays in New Zealand. This would be on behalf of all New Zealanders, but would have special significance since the basis for the prosecution of gays by the criminal justice system were Acts of Parliament.
- A process to be put in place to pardon gay men. The specifics of the process are not specified, because there are a number of technical details that would need to be considered.
The petition only requests a pardon for men convicted of homosexual acts which are now legal
. Convictions for homosexual acts with minors should remain on the books, and a pardon for those convictions is not requested by the petition. Only consensual acts should be pardoned.
How can I sign the petition?
The submission has been submitted to Parliament, and, therefore, it can no longer be signed. Many thanks
to those who signed the petition and collected singatures.
How many people would be eligble for pardon?
Exact numbers are hard to come by, due to the classification system used to tally convictions.
Information obtained through an Official Information Act request suggests the total is around 400. While obtaining
this estimate, filters were applied to the data to try to remove convictions that we aren't asking for pardons
on (see What does the petition call for?
Not all of these 400 men would still be living. However, most of the convictions were handed down in the last decades
before the 1986 reform, so it is likely that most of the men who would be eligble for pardon would still be living.
Is this campaign related to the one launched in the United Kingdom?
While on a similar subject matter, this campaign is not affliated with
the similar one in the United Kingdom
New Zealand has its own history with this issue, and it is important to recognise the differences therein, as well as
the cultural differences found today.
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