THE Victorian state government’s long-awaited bill to allow those with historical gay sex convictions to have them expunged will be debated in parliament today, with the Labor Opposition expected to introduce a number of last-minute amendments.

Well-placed sources have indicated to the Star Observer that Labor will seek three amendments to the government’s bill, though it is unclear whether they will received government support.

The amendments would seek to allow, under specific circumstances, the historical gay sex convictions of now-deceased people to be posthumously expunged, and to amend the state’s Equal Opportunity Act to make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of an expunged gay sex conviction.

There is also a proposed amendment to include and additional purpose in the bill to recognise that the convictions in question should never have been considered criminal matters.

These amendments appear to be in line with recommendations made in January in a community-produced background paper on the issue from the Human Rights Law Centre, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the Victorian AIDS Council and others.

More to come.

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