• LGBTI organization Shams says the pair were simply walking down the street. (Getty Images / Romolo Tavani)Source: Getty Images / Romolo Tavani
The announcement comes after news that gay men in England and Wales will be pardoned under 'Turing's Law'.
By
Michaela Morgan

10 Feb 2017 - 3:44 PM  UPDATED 10 Feb 2017 - 3:44 PM

New Zealand has announced plans to pardon men who were convicted while it a crime for two men to have sex.

Homosexuality was illegal in New Zealand until 1986, with anti-discrimination laws introduced in 1993.

Justice Minister Amy Adams apologised for the impact the laws had on New Zealand’s gay community.

"We are sorry for what those men and their families have gone through and the continued effect the convictions have had on them.

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

"Although we can never fully undo the impact on the lives of those affected, this new scheme will provide a pathway for their convictions to be expunged," says Adams.

"It means people will be treated as if they had never been convicted, and removes the ongoing stigma and prejudice that can arise from convictions for homosexual offences.”

The scheme will go into effect next year and It’s estimated that over 1,000 men will be eligible to apply to have their criminal records cleared.

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Families of deceased men who were charged under the discriminatory laws will also be able to apply for posthumous pardons.

The announcement comes after the enactment of ‘Turing’s Law’ in England and Wales, pardoning almost 50,000 men who were convicted under previous anti-gay laws.