Lawrence Springborg supports removing the gay panic defence and expunging gay convinctions.
Lawrence Springborg supports removing the gay panic defence and expunging gay convinctions. Peter Holt

Springborg’s gay law reform: the right thing to do

SOUTHERN Downs MP Lawrence Springborg has reaffirmed his support for two major gay rights issues in Queensland.

The former Opposition Leader was behind an LNP push last year to repeal the controversial gay panic defence law and expunge homosexual convictions.

Earlier this year, Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath announced the Palaczszuk Government would act on both issues.

Speaking on the eve of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Mr Springborg said he was pleased to see Labor moving on the issue.

"Given it was my policy initiative I'd absolutely support it," he said.

"Like any law you want to see the final details."

The gay panic defence law allows a person to claim self-defence against homosexual advances in a murder trial.

Mr Springborg said repealing the law was a fair and just thing to do.

"I felt the law as it stood was and is potentially being abused to excuse unforgivable actions that have caused people harm," he said.

The gay panic defence is the subject of a video released by comedian Tom Ballard to coincide with IDAHOT.

In the video Ballard urges people to back Father Paul Kelly's campaign to end the gay panic defence by signing his petition, which has 243,000 signatures.

"If any straight men were to be so offended by my advances that they proceeded to stab me multiple times and then dump my body in a wheelie bin, I'd like to think the justice system would prosecute them to the full extent of the law," he said.

Father Kelly started his campaign six years ago after Wayne Ruks was murdered in his courtyard, and his killers used the gay panic defence in court.

"Australia is an international disgrace for still having this homophobic law on its books," he said.

"It's a demeaning, dangerous insult to gay people. Queensland has claimed to be working on it, but the leisurely pace concerns me.

"Every day, every hour that passes, another killer could walk free because of this outdated law."

Mr Springborg has also reiterated his support for expunging gay convictions.

"Expunging the historical convictions for homosexual activity between consulting adults was a policy announcement of mine last year," he said.

"If it was a purely consensual activity between two adults and considered legal today I support it.

"That does not extend to other things that wouldn't be considered legal such as some sort of an assault."


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