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    Gavin Newsom pardons concentration camp survivor arrested for having gay sex

    Gavin Newsom pardons concentration camp survivor arrested for having gay sex

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has pardoned an 82-year-old gay man who was convicted of lewd conduct over 50 years ago.
    Henry Pachnowski was arrested and charged with lewd conduct in 1967 after he was caught having sex with another man in a parked car in Long Beach, California. Last fall, Pachnowski, who emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1951 after surviving a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, applied for a pardon for the 1967 conviction.
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    Pachnowski has been working toward renewing his permanent U.S. resident status in recent years. In the pardon application sent to Newsom’s office, he explained that at the time of his arrest, he was engaged in consensual intimacy with a male partner in a deserted industrial area in his partner’s car. A security guard who discovered them said that they had “gone against ‘God and nature.'”
    “He turned us into the police, and I pleaded guilty to a lewdness charge in exchange for the dropping of a ‘sex perversion’ charge,” Pachnowski’s statement continues. “A pardon would not only recognize and remedy the injustice that I suffered from being targeted and convicted because of my sexuality, it would also ensure that I do not face any future obstacles, such as employment and housing-related ones, stemming from this conviction.”
    Newsom granted the pardon on July 1. “Mr. Pachnowski was convicted and sentenced pursuant to a charge commonly used, and used in this case, to punish men for engaging in consensual adult sexual conduct with other men, criminalizing them based on stigma, bias, and ignorance,” the governor states in the official pardon declaration, acknowledging “the inherent injustice of the conviction.”
    “I think it’s just great that the governor did this,” Pachnowski’s attorney Jayesh Rathod told The Washington Blade. “It’s so important to kind of correct all these wrongs against the LGBTQ community. Although it’s a relatively minor conviction, obviously it’s really significant for him and it’s important for the community.”

    Source:https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/07/gavin-newsom-pardons-concentration-camp-survivor-arrested-gay-sex/