'My father was imprisoned and deported for being gay'

A woman has spoken of how her father was convicted, imprisoned and deported for having a consensual homosexual relationship with an adult.

He's now one of around 1000 men who can apply to have their record wiped, after Justice Minister Amy Adams announced historic convictions relating to homosexuality will be pardoned.

"We are sorry for what those men and their families have gone through, and the continued effect the convictions have had on them," Ms Adams said at the announcement.

For the family of those convicted, it's a victory - albeit one that's come far later than it should have.

Talkback caller Lisa told Ali Mau on RadioLIVE her father spent five years in jail before he was released in 1986, for "good behaviour", when the Homosexual Law Reform Bill was passed, decriminalising gay sex.

He was then deported. Lisa was 14 at the time, and in the last 30 years, has only seen her father twice.

"We lost the right to have a relationship with our father because of this," Lisa says.

"He was a Canadian who was married to a New Zealand woman and had children here, because of all the stigma that went with being homosexual back then.

"He has had to, for the past 30 years, carry a conviction for something that he believed in."

Her father in now in his 70s and will be applying for the pardon, in order to spend the rest of his life without the conviction.

"I'm hoping that this old man can get rid of this thing that's been following him," Lisa says.

The publicity and "chaos" that came with the conviction burdened the family, and the pardon comes as a relief.

"It's not fair on any level. When you've got family members who have had to live with this, and the two times he has come back into the country he's been treated badly by Immigration because of it, because he's got a conviction that he should never have got in the first place."

Because of the time zone difference between Canada and New Zealand, Lisa hasn't spoken to her father yet and doesn't know if he's aware of Ms Adams' announcement.

"I'm so looking forward to making that phone call," she says.

While the Government has apologised, it won't be providing any compensation.

Newshub.

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