*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of Queensland, Australia - A campaign to remove our Sodomy Law (which was enacted in
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10th April 2006 Letter to Premier
Peter Beattie in reply to his letter dated 5 April
2006 which had suggested that the correct information which is displayed on
the Youth Advocacy Centre website
constitutes an effort made by his Government toward adequately informing the
public in regard to age of consent and legal sexual activity. In my reply I
advise that it was own persistence from July 2000 in lobbying the YAC which
resulted in their decision to amend their displayed information in December of
that year and that the YAC are not a representative Government body.
I remind the Premier of other
highly relevant points in support of reform, including his own proven
involvement in the history of the Queensland
Sodomy Law, and I ask “How
can the current law be considered moral or just? How can your Government
justify its ongoing failure to enact reform?”
as per the original Word
To: Hon Premier Peter Beattie MP
GPO Box 185,
BRISBANE Albert Street
From: John Frame
Avenue, Wavell Hts 4012
Ph 07 3350
1562 / 0409 501 561 firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Reference: 97972/JM33/LJP
Re: Your letter from your office dated 5th
April 2006 signed by
Chief Of Staff, Rob Whiddon.
Dear Mr. Beattie,
April 2006 letter attempts to defend against my claim that you have
not kept your word, given in our 15th
June 2001 interview, that you would at least educate the public
about the present law in regard to age of consent and legal sexual activity.
The letter suggests that proof of your action toward
education exists in that the Youth Advocacy Centre, which is partly funded by
the Queensland Government, displays correct information on their website. However
I assure you that the main reason that they do display correct information is
as a result of my own actions in 2000.
I had received a 3rd July 2000 letter from Anna
Bligh as Minister
for Families, Youth and Community Care and Minister for Disabilities Family Services,
in which she declined to approve a public education effort on legal sexual
activity and the age of consent. She claimed that youth were already adequately
informed via the government-funded "GENERATE" website. In fact
there was no information on the actual "GENERATE" website
about age of consent, and when I searched their link to the "Youth
Advocacy Centre", I found that
the YAC site displayed incorrect information (stating that all male to male sex
was illegal for men aged under 18). Over several
months I telephoned, emailed, and mailed the Youth Advocacy Centre about this, and
they eventually amended their site in December 2000.
The Youth Advocacy Centre website www.yac.net.au
continues to display easily accessible concise information which is very easy to
comprehend. However I believe that the overriding public perception of the
Youth Advocacy Centre is that they are an independent body, rather than being representative
of Queensland Government opinion. Their website also displays the clear
disclaimer: "The Youth Advocacy Centre does
not accept responsibility for any action arising out of reliance on the
information on this site." This shows that they are not making an
official statement which is representative of the Queensland Government.
It is a fact that much of the accurate information elsewhere on the
internet in regard to Queensland’s age of consent has
been due to my own efforts since early 2000. At that time there was a huge
preponderance of misinformation, which was further exacerbated when the
Queensland Government funded a project by Logan Youth and Family Services to
distribute posters to all state schools in 2001 in regard to youth and the law.
the poster the Logan Youth Legal Service poster, the Service was attempting to
cover all legal bases for youth - but the only reference that they made to
being able to engage in legal sex was:
You are able to have sex with someone of the opposite sex without
someone getting charged.
February 2001 I emailed
Attorney General Matt Foley regarding this poster project, advising that I
believed that by mentioning opposite sex activity, while omitting same sex
activity, they had broadly inferred illegality in regard to same sex activity.
The poster was funded by the Attorney General's Department
and prominently displayed that Department's official logo - thereby giving it
undue credibility. It also featured a disclaimer, denying any liability for
errors or omissions.
I advised Attorney General Matt Foley that I believed this to be a
prime example of the self-perpetuating misinformation which results from his
Department's reticence to act toward adequately educating the general public
about age of consent, the Sodomy Law and legal sexual activity.
Of course today the easy and best solution for the
Government is for you to do as you personally and officially recommended in
your 1990 PCJC Report on Homosexual Law Reform – and that is to enact a truly
equal age of consent. It is vital that this happens while you know that you have
the numbers of MP’s to ensure the success of that reform.
Since 2003 Queensland
has been the only state or territory in Australia
with an unequal age of consent. The Queensland AIDS Council has advised you
that the law impedes vital safe sex information. The Queensland Anti-Discrimination
Commissioner has advised you that the law is definitely discriminatory, as well
as being a risk to youth, and that it should be removed urgently. Brisbane
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) have written requesting urgent
reform so that all of their children may be adequately protected under the law
(i.e. not just the heterosexual ones).
citizens joined my 2005 Parliamentary E-petition which closed on 31st July 2005. However
the Attorney General’s 22nd
March 2006 Ministerial Response was entirely unsatisfactory. The
Minister acknowledges the negative aspects of the current law, but says that the
Government will not enact reform because this is a “vexed” issue.
Surely the franchise for women was a “vexed” issue, as was the
franchise for indigenous people. Concern over losing the support of some voters
on “vexed” issues has not stopped past Governments from enacting necessary
The enactment of a truly equal age of consent in Queensland
is not only necessary, but also 15 years overdue. I believe that since you have
a known personal involvement in the history of the law’s enactment, you should also
display an active interest in ensuring its urgent reform.
The other very important issue impeding equal treatment of
youth in Queensland is that the
age of an adult under Criminal Law here is 17 – whereas in every other
Australian state or territory it is 18. All Queensland
youth deserve to be able to access youth services and legal protection in
equity with other Australian youth.
Since you are an informed lawyer, you will know the
dangerous truth that the current Queensland
law presents the situation where a person aged 17 could legally engage in any of
a myriad of consenting acts approved by their 16 year old partner – and yet
face 14 years jail if they happen to choose anal intercourse. How can the
current law be considered moral or just? How can your Government justify its
ongoing failure to enact reform?
I look forward to your positive and hopefully detailed reply.
With my sincere regards.