Amazing. The Age reports:
Peter McEwan was just 17 when the police caught him caressing another man behind some bushes on Brighton beach in 1967. It was enough for him to receive a criminal conviction while he was still finishing year 12. He said police had written a confession for him and he agreed to sign it. “I was an innocent boy. I trusted the police,” he said. Later his story was splashed on the front page of The Truth newspaper.
In parliament on Tuesday Premier Daniel Andrews apologised to Mr McEwan and other men who were convicted under homophobic laws that have now been scrapped. “There was a time in our history when we turned thousands of ordinary young men into criminals,” Mr Andrews said. “And it was profoundly and unimaginably wrong.” He apologised for the laws the parliament had passed and the “lives ruined”.
“It all started here. It will end here, too.” Mr Andrews raised the individual cases of several men affected by the laws. He said he also learnt of two women convicted for offensive behaviour in the 1970s for holding hands on a tram. Opposition leader Matthew Guy also apologised. He told parliament the apology was long overdue. “It’s about time and it is right,” My Guy said.
McEwan and other victims of the laws were present in the gallery during the speech. Watch the full address below.