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Austria to compensate gay people

Convicted under discriminatory laws

13 November, 18:11

(ANSA-AFP) - VIENNA, NOV 13 - Austria has set aside millions of euros to compensate thousands of gay people who until two decades ago faced prosecution, its justice minister said Monday.
    Austria decriminalised homosexuality in 1971 but certain discriminatory provisions remained in force until the early 2000s. A ban on male homosexual prostitution remained in place until 1989 although heterosexual prostitution was legal. The age of consent for sexual contact between men was 18 -- instead of 14 for heterosexuals -- until 2002. Some 11,000 people are estimated to be eligible for compensation with a total of 33 million euros ($35 million) alloted for payout, Justice Minister Alma Zadic said. "This financial compensation can never, never make up for the suffering and injustice that happened... but it is of immense importance that we... finally take responsibility for this part of our history," Zadic told reporters, flanked by two LGBTQ flags. Gay people who were investigated under the now-repealed laws will get 500 euros, while convictions will be quashed, she said. Those who were convicted will get 3,000 euros and more if they were jailed or suffered in terms of health, economically or in their professional lives. (ANSA-AFP).
   

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