NEW Zealand will issue a formal apology today to men who were convicted of historical gay sex offences.

Justice Minister Amy Adams will read the apology in parliament, Q News has reported.

A bill will also be read that would allow men charged with historical gay sex offences to have the convictions wiped from their records.

Adams said last month that allowing the historical convictions to remain on a person’s record perpetuates stigma towards gay men and those who were convicted under the old laws.

“The tremendous hurt and stigma suffered by those who were affected can never be fully undone, but I hope that this bill will go some way toward addressing that,” she said.

In May, Queensland similarly apologised for historical gay sex charges and introduced a bill to allow such convictions to be expunged.

Germany has also introduced a bill to wipe 50,000 gay sex convictions, and earlier this year the UK pardoned 65,000 men who were convicted under the Sexual Offences Act until 1967.

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