Liberals table bill to expunge gay sex convictions, part of LGBTQ apology - InfoNews

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Liberals table bill to expunge gay sex convictions, part of LGBTQ apology

November 28, 2017 - 11:43 AM

OTTAWA - The federal Liberal government has introduced legislation that would allow people to apply to have their criminal convictions for consensual sexual activity between same-sex partners erased from the public record.

The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act would provide for the destruction and removal of records for the offences of gross indecency, buggery and anal intercourse.

In effect, it would mean the person is "deemed never to have been convicted" of the offence, says the bill introduced Tuesday by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

The measure is a key element of the government's bid to make amends to people who have suffered discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once passed, the legislation will allow applications by the convicted individual in question or family members of deceased people with criminal records. A guardian, attorney or other "appropriate representative" may also apply on behalf of a dead individual.

The bill gives the Parole Board of Canada authority to order or refuse expungement of a conviction. For instance, the board may return incomplete applications.

Once the board approves an expungement, it must notify the RCMP and the courts. In turn, the Mounties must inform other federal agencies and provincial and municipal police forces.

Legislation passed in 1969 decriminalized anal intercourse between adults of the age of consent.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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