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Until 1997, men having consensual gay sex could be arrested , tried and convicted for doing so. The UK has recently taken steps to expunge convictions for consensual gay sex and there are now calls for similar legislation to be enacted in Australia. In Victoria, wiping the slate clean is not just a case of righting previous wrongs. Men with these convictions may be barred from working as police or corrections officers or with children. In every jurisdiction except Victoria, there is what’s called “spent convictions” legislation meaning a person does not have to disclose certain convictions for minor criminal offences usually if they occurred more than 10 years ago.

Victoria does not have similar legislation. Past convictions can show up on a criminal record check.The Wire has contacted Victoria Police for comment but is yet to recieve a reply.

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