Young Fine Gael call to pardon those convicted of homosexuality

Young Fine Gael (YFG) is calling for a pardon and full State apology for those convicted of homosexual acts in this country.

Although homosexuality was legalised in 1993, the youth wing of the main government party has pointed out that many people still carry convictions on their records for what was previously considered a crime.

It has launched a petition calling on Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to establish a scheme to officially call for a pardon for those who were convicted of the abolished offence of homosexuality.

It is also calling for a formal apology from Mr Flanagan, on behalf of the Irish State, to anyone charged with the offence since 1922.

The petition follows the precedent of the Defence Forces Act 2013, which granted an amnesty to members of the Irish Defence Forces who absented themselves from the forces and fought for the Allies during the Second World War. They were formally pardoned.

As part of the process, Mr Flanagan is being asked to offer a formal apology on behalf of the State.

President of YFG Marian O’Donnell said that although Ireland has made huge strides towards equality in recent years, there “is still a way to go”.

She said: “Many people today still carry criminal prosecutions on their records in relation to homosexuality.

Until their abolition in 1993, these laws were a breach of the right to privacy and personal autonomy.

Those convicted should receive a pardon by law and these offences should be removed and disregarded from their criminal record.

“In advance of this year’s Dublin Pride, YFG — in cooperation with Fine Gael LGBT — would like as many people as possible to sign our petition, calling on the minister for justice and equality to establish a process to grant pardons for these convictions and also to offer a State apology.”


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