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Criminal justice system should move on outdated gay convictions - Lynch

21 October, 2016 - by Seán Lynch

Sinn Féin MLA and equality spokesperson Sean Lynch has called for the immediate removal of any outstanding criminal records for gay men who were convicted over consensual same-sex relationships before decriminalisation in the North of Ireland in 1982.

Speaking today Mr Lynch said:

“The law regarding the criminalisation of consensual relationship between gay men was rightly removed in 1982. However the convictions prior to that date still remain on people’s personal records.

“This is unacceptable.

“The move in England and Wales to pardon those convicted posthumously is a welcome start to redressing this wrong.

“However, the fact that anyone living has to apply for outstanding convictions to be pardoned is placing a burden on the victim of an unjust law.

“We would much rather see the criminal justice system taking responsibility to examine any outstanding cases and enable a process to expunge records which are linked to these out dated laws.

“I will be contacting the Justice Minister to raise these issues and see the rights and entitlement of our LGBT community are upheld.” 

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