New Zealand gay rights activists demand compensation over convictions

Gay rights advocates are gearing up to fight the New Zealand government for compensation for men convicted of homosexual crimes. Last year justice minister Amy Adams apologised to hundreds of gay men who were convicted of a crime for engaging in consensual sex prior to the homosexual law reform of 1986. 

Following decades of petitioning by campaigners the government is working towards expunging the criminal records of convicted men, but has ruled out financial compensation, as have the British and Australian governments in similar circumstances.

But veteran gay rights campaigner Bill Logan says New Zealand should follow the “civilised” example of Germany and Canada in awarding compensation to the hundreds of men whose lives were “ruined”.

“People lives have been wrecked by an injustice that was done to them by the law and it is really the least they can expect to have some kind of recompense in their old age for this rather terrible thing that has happened to them,” said Logan. Read more via the Guardian