VICTORIA’S LGBTI community looks set to be involved in the development of the state’s newly-announced legislation to allow historical consensual gay sex convictions to be expunged.

Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convener Anna Brown told the Star Observer the organisation was aware Victorian legislation would likely influence similar legislation in other states as the first of its kind in Australia.

She said they were in contact with the government for the next steps in developing legislation and that the wider LGBTI community organisations would play a role.

Recently, Rainbow Labor South Australia distributed a media release arguing their state was the first to expunge similar convictions, but Brown said the proposed Victorian legislation would go further.

South Australia’s Spent Convictions (Decriminalised Offences) Amendment Act 2013 allows those with historical convictions to apply to have them not appear on their record after a number of crime-free years.

“Other States and Territories have spent convictions schemes to allow criminal offences to no longer appear on criminal records after a certain number of crime-free years have elapsed and it appears that South Australia has recently passed legislation to enable gay men to apply to have their convictions spent,” Brown explained.

“Victoria should go further to “expunge” the convictions completely, so it will be as though the offence never took place because these acts should never have been considered crimes.”

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