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Dr Allen George
University of Sydney

From the mid 2010s, apologies have been offered to LGBTIQ communities for historical anti-homosexual law and associated injustices perpetrated by previous parliaments across Australia. The apologies have often been delivered in parliamentary debates and proffered at a time of relevance or commemoration, such as the NSW government apology to the participants of the inaugural Mardi Gras of 1978 in the lead-up to parade in 2016. Apologies have also been offered with the passing of legislation, such as that given by the Northern Territory Parliament when passing the Expungement of Historical Homosexual Offences Records Bill in 2018. Political apologies have an important symbolic meaning as an expression of repulsion, remorse and sorrow for past acts as well as an offering therapeutic and reparative justice to the victims. This paper will critically examine state apologies given to the LGBTIQ communities and consider whether such acts provide a form of justice, are an example of pinkwashing (LGBTIQ) and an accommodation that diminishes or dissolves identity politics.

Dr. Allen George is a lecturer in Socio-legal Studies at the University of Sydney. His research interest is LGBTIQ peoples and the law.

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