*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
4th December 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: John Frame
Letter To The Editors and to any and all concerned LGBT individuals, activists and community groups:
You may be dismayed, but not at all surprised to know that the Beattie Government still sits firmly on its hands over reform of the state's Sodomy Law. They refuse to commit to reforming this law at ANY time and do not even acknowledge that the law ought to be reformed.
The victims of their persistent and arrogant inaction are all our state's same-sex attracted 16 & 17 year old males, and all heterosexual youth who might be doing anal intercourse (conservatively 4% of all 16 & 17 year old youth). The Sodomy Law blocks all safe sex education for them regarding anal intercourse - exposing them to very high risk of HIV and other STI's. The law also makes them all potential criminals - with up to 14 years in gaol for them &/or their partner.
If we - the empowered LGBT activists, community groups and queer-supportive allies - fail to take affirmative action to demand reform, then I believe that we must all consider ourselves complicit with the Beattie Government in prolonging the abuse of our state's youth.
I suggest that we must organise a public rally soon so that mainstream media and hopefully Beattie's Labor, are forced to publicly acknowledge the Sodomy Law issue. As it stands the good ol' Courier Mail have simply refused to print or act on any of the information I have sent them during the last 5 years. Mainstream media indifference keeps Beattie even more confident that he needn't bother to enact reform.
I have no experience in organising rallies - so I'm throwing this suggestion out to those who do. I've done all the background work of collating all relevant data, lobbying the politicians and using what media avenues I can. (Go to http://www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm ). I can also coordinate radio exposure on 4ZZZ's queer and non-queer programs. I urge all other interested persons and groups to put in their best effort too. This is not a battle that youth alone should be expected to fight - especially when they're the ones most disempowered by the current law.
Sunday the 13th February - Valentine's Day Eve- sound? We could reinforce that all
teens deserve equal support in protecting their sexual health and in
feeling good about falling in love. It could be a Love-In for Sodomy Law
Reform. A prominent city location such as
A student and youth led rally might have the best media impact, but all older men and women should feel rightly confident in that their own participation is in support of necessary equal rights and protection for all current and future youth in our state. I welcome suggestions.
presenter of Queer Radio www.queerradio.org
on community radio 4ZZZ fm102.1
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561