Irish government to apologise for historic convictions of gay men
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Irish government to apologise for historic convictions of gay men

THE IRISH government will apologise to Irish men who were convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex activity prior to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to officially apologise to the gay men who were convicted under the old legislation.

The suggestion was originally tabled by Labour Party, Senator Ged Nash.

All Houses of the Oireachtas will acknowledge that the historic laws were improperly discriminatory and an infringement of personal privacy.

They will also acknowledge the “hurt and the harm caused” to those who were deterred by the laws from being open and honest about their identity with friends and family.

Senator Nash declared that the motion “represents an important reckoning with our past”.

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“The State inherited draconian laws we applied over many decades to persecute and prosecute gay men merely for being who they were. It took until 1993 for Irish lawmakers to show the moral courage to banish these cruel, antiquated and inhumane laws from our statute books,” he said.

“Apart altogether from those who were convicted of offences that no longer exist, the chilling effect of having such harsh and discriminatory laws in place had negative impact on progress towards equality for the LGBTI community.

“Incalculable harm and hurt was caused to countless thousands of citizens of this Republic who were deterred by those laws from being open and honest about their identity with themselves, their family and with society.

“This prevented citizens from engaging fully in civic and political life and deprived society of their full contribution. They were badly wronged by this country, and they and their families are owed an apology.”

The Dail will hear the motion at 6pm today.