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Consultation On Scheme To Disregard Historic Convictions Of Gay & Bisexual Men Opened.

  • Public consultation an opportunity for affected people and groups to inform the development of the disregard scheme.
  • Survey will run online for several weeks, closing on Friday 9 December.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has today launched a public consultation that will inform the development of a scheme to disregard historic convictions relating to consensual sexual activity between men.

Affected persons and representative organisations are being asked to provide input on a number of key issues, based on their lived experience. Their responses will inform the final recommendations of a working group who are examining the development of a scheme of disregard convictions for consensual sexual activity between men prior to decriminalisation in 1993.

Minister McEntee said: “We want to ensure that any potential scheme is as effective and accessible as possible, so that we can exonerate those impacted by these outdated laws and address some of the lingering harms of the past.

I would encourage any of the affected men, their families, loved ones and the wider LGBTQ+ community to engage with this consultation so that we can be mindful of their unique perspectives, as we move forward.”

The consultation survey will consist of seven questions, based on key issues identified by the Working Group that would benefit from stakeholder input. The survey will ask how a potential scheme could be made more accessible, how to encourage participation in the scheme and how to minimise potential for re-traumatising applicants, amongst other issues.

The deadline for completion of the survey is 5pm on Friday 9 December 2022.

Following the close of the consultation, the Working Group will prepare a summary report which will give an overview of the submissions received, identifying key themes that will inform the final recommendations of the Working Group.

Minister McEntee added: “The damage that was caused by these laws continues to impact negatively on too many people’s lives.

While we cannot undo the hurt inflicted on people who were discriminated against for simply being themselves, we can contribute to the healing process.

Both the Programme for Government and my Justice Plans commit to putting in place a scheme to disregard the convictions of people convicted of consensual same-sex activity prior to decriminalisation.

This consultation is another important step on that journey towards meeting those commitments, and to addressing the individual harm that was done to generations of gay and bisexual men, while also showing that we are willing to re-visit and confront uncomfortable aspects of our past.”

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