THE Queensland Attorney-General has told the Star Observer that he is open to the idea of introducing legislation to expunge historic gay sex convictions in the state.

In an update to a story from earlier today — where a spokesperson for the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said that the issue was not a priority for the Queensland Government — Bleijie has clarified his position on the quashing of criminal sentences for gay men found guilty prior to the state decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1991.

“While it’s an issue that I haven’t received a lot of correspondence from the community about, I’m more than happy to take submissions on it,” Bleijie told the Star Observer.

“I’m arranging a meeting with [Brisbane Pride Festival president Peter Black] to discuss this issue.”

Bleijie’s comments come in light of Tuesday’s successful passing of legislation on Tuesday by both houses of the Victorian Parliament to nullify historic convictions for gay men.

Similar legislation was supported in the NSW Parliament lower house earlier today after being introduced by in a private member’s bill by Coogee state Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith.

Black — who is also a senior law lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology — told the Star Observer that he’s honoured to be involved in consultation with the Attorney-General about an issue that should be resolved once and for all.

“There is no reason why this shouldn’t occur in Queensland. It seems to be both the right thing to do and various legal issues that are associated can be overcome,” he told the Star Observer.

“The fact that over states have gone down this path indicated the legal challenges can be resolved.

“There is no compelling moral or legal reason why this change couldn’t occur.”

Black said that while being approached personally by Bliejie took him by surprise, he said that the opportunity for Brisbane Pride to discuss the issue with government was significant.

“We’re more than happy to take this opportunity to meet with the Attorney-General and put forward the case for law reform and change in this area,” Black said.

“Though we didn’t specifically seek this out, this is obviously something that our community supports and feels strongly for and we’re prepared to make that case to the Attorney-General and Government.

Black said that while this was a significant starting point, he would be advising and suggesting other LGBTI community groups for Bleijie to meet.

“We’re certainly not purporting to speak for everyone in the community, but having been sought out by the Attorney-General to have a meeting, we didn’t want to turn this down,” he said.

“We see it as a vital starting point for a wider consultation with the LGBTI community.”

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