Tasmanian community and legal groups have united in support of financial redress for those convicted under Tasmania’s former laws against homosexuality and cross-dressing.

The Tasmanian Council of Social Services, Tasmania’s Community Legal Services, the Tasmanian Women’s Legal Service and Equality Tasmania have all called for the reform “to rectify past injustice”

In an article in today’s Hobart Mercury the groups say,

“Those who fell foul of our old laws endured humiliation, shame, stigma, discrimination, pain and trauma. Some took their own lives, while others lived lives deeply scarred by what they had endured.”

“If the state is serious about making up for the cruelty it directly, knowingly and deliberately inflicted, it must provide financial redress.”

In 2020 an independent review of Tasmania’s 2017 laws allowing historic convictions for homosexuality and cross-dressing to be erased, made a number of recommendations including redress.

The State Government has accepted all the independent review’s recommendations except redress.

The Government says the Treasurer has the choice to make ex-gratia payments on application and that no other state offers redress.

But the groups in support of reform say redress should be automatic when a historic criminal record is successfully erased, not made after a further application process with an uncertain outcome. They believe Tasmania should lead the nation given it was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality and the only state to criminalise cross-dressing.

Tasmania decriminalised homosexuality in 1997. The law against cross-dressing, which was enforced against transgender women, was repealed in 2000. 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For further information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668