• Senator Ged Nash says the bill would represent an "important landmark". (Facebook)Source: Facebook
"We believe this particular apology and exoneration is an important step forward – it’s an important reckoning with our past.”
By
Michaela Morgan

3 Feb 2017 - 12:40 PM  UPDATED 3 Feb 2017 - 12:40 PM

A bill has been introduced in the Irish Senate that would pardon nearly 2,000 gay men who were convicted of sex crimes before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993.

The Labour Party introduced the bill, saying the convictions were “discriminatory, contrary to dignity and in breach of personal privacy and autonomy”.

The party’s equality spokesman Senator Ged Nash says the bill is a significant step forward.

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Lord Sharkey, the politician behind the legislation, described it as "a momentous day".

“It’s an important reckoning with our past. What it won’t do is undo the cruelty that was visited upon large cohorts of our society since the foundation of the State, as a result of very draconian laws the State enforced, that we inherited from Britain.”

Green Party Senator Grace Williams said on Twitter, “The #GayApologyBill has passed 2nd stage in the #Seanad without a vote, as the government did not oppose. An emotional debate, good outcome.”

The introduction of the bill comes after the UK pardoned thousands of men who were convicted under anti-homosexuality laws. 

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