Ireland Joins Growing List Of Countries Apologizing For The Former Criminalization of Homosexuality

As each day and week goes by, more and more countries and states are apologizing for their past treatment of LGBTQ people (and specifically gay men).

The latest country to release an official apology is Ireland. Members of the upper and lower houses are expected to release the formal apology later today. In it, they’ll state that the pre-1993 law caused harm to gay people and their families.

In addition, Leo Varadkar, the national first openly gay prime minster/Taoiseach, will give a key speech in the lower house known as the Dáil.

This apology and announcement is in honor of the 25th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the country. Anti-gay laws in Ireland lasted until 1993 when they were repealed.

Leo Varadkar / Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ireland now joins multiple countries which have released similar apologies. Queensland in Australia issued an apology last week and also noted that these crimes can be expunged from public record. Though Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath noted that there is a process to doing that.

“Once a conviction is expunged a person does not need to disclose the offence nor be discriminated against for non-disclosure in their employment or profession,” D’Ath said.

“We know this doesn’t make up for previous prejudice and discrimination, but it is an important step we can and will take to right these past wrongs.”

In addition, Scotland issues and apology just under a week before Queensland. A vote passed by the Scottish Parliament formally pardoned all gay and bisexual men who had been convicted of anti-gay laws. They said that this ruling was “to correct a historical wrong” that was used to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  

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