A Fine Gael campaigner in West Clare has called on the people of the constituency to support a petition put forward by the Party’s Youth & LGBT wings calling on the Department of Justice to pardon those historically convicted of homosexuality.
Michael Taylor is a West Clare native and sits on the Steering Committee of Fine Gael LGBT.
“As a young gay man who was born into in an Ireland after the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the thought of being convicted for the offence of daring to act on feelings that you can’t help is horrific to me.
I campaigned quite extensively for Marriage Equality in 2016, so I understand and appreciate how far we’ve come as a nation in a very comparatively short amount of time. This petition is important because it’s saying that the Ireland of old that told people that they were shameful purely for being them is dead and gone,” Mr Taylor said.
It’s about saying sorry to those who were wronged by an Ireland of the past, and further welcoming them into the Ireland of the future. As homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1993 there are still many men alive today who live with a permanent black mark on their record.
It’s time now to wipe that slate clean, and that is why I am joining my colleagues in Young Fine Gael, and Fine Gael LGBT in calling on the Minister for Justice & Equality to establish a scheme to allow those who were convicted of the specified abolished offences to apply to the Dept. to have these removed from their record, and receive a pardon from the State,” he said.
Taylor also added that he was supporting the call by YFG & FG LGBT for the Minister for Justice & Equality to formally apologise on behalf of the State for the prosecution of these offences since 1922.
The petition can be signed at the following link: