Men who were convicted for gay sex offences under historical Queensland laws can now apply to have their records wiped.

The new law that was proposed earlier this year, when the Queensland government apologised for the convictions, was passed unopposed last night, ABC News has reported.

The hundreds of men who were convicted for gay sex offences up until 1991 can now apply to have their criminal records cleared.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the move was to acknowledge and rectify past discrimination against the LGBTI community.

“The stigma of those charges and convictions continues to follow many individuals who have forgone employment, and travel opportunities, as a result of their criminal records,” she said.

“I want to acknowledge those who took their own lives because of the shame of those charges and those convictions and never got to see justice, never got to see those convictions expunged.

“I also want to acknowledge that things have changed in this country but we still have a long way to go.”

Peter Black from the LGBTI Legal Service called the reform “vitally important”.

“The injustices and indignity that so many people suffered from that period have lingered and have affected a whole range of different parts of their life, from their employability to their mental health to their relationships,” he said.

“Not only is this a reform that is vitally important for the people who have these convictions, but it’s also an important symbolic step for the state to recognise that loving the person that you love should never have been against the law in the first place.”

The new law allowing historical gay sex convictions to be wiped follows decades of campaigning by LGBTI activists.

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