*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
10th July 2000Response to Anna Bligh MLA:
To: Anna Bligh MLA
Minister for families, Youth and Community Care, Minister for Disability Services
GPO Box 806
From: John Frame
82 Main Avenue
Wavell Heights 4012
Ph: 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Date: 10th July 2000
Re: Public Awareness Campaign re Age of Consent & Sodomy Laws.
I have received your letter advising that you will not consider a campaign of education about the accurate interpretation of the Age of Consent and Sodomy Laws.
Unfortunately you seem to have misinterpreted what I am requesting.
I am not only seeking the education of youth in this matter, but the whole of the public.
The confusion caused by the Sodomy Lawís age of 18 has been repeatedly reinforced over the years by major print media such as the Courier Mail / Sunday Mail, especially - to the point where most people (young or old) have the impression that any sex between men aged less than 18 is illegal.
I believe it is important for men aged 16 to 18 to be aware that they can make safe, legal choices in the sexual activity they want to have with other men. But it is also vital that their family, friends, work-mates, neighbours and the police are aware that they are legally entitled to make those choices.
Family Planning Queensland, the Queensland AIDS Council and Brisbane Sexual Health have each advised that the publicís overriding perception that all male-to-male sex involving men under 18 is illegal, severely limits their ability to provide effective education to men aged 16 to 18, about the health issues facing "men who have sex with men".
You have referred me to the GENERATE site with the assurance that the advice attached to that site via the Youth Advocacy Centre would contain "information about the different ages for consent to sexual activity". Indeed it does, but that information is wrong:
I quote from their website:
"In Queensland, it is not an offence for two males 18 or over to have sex, BUT if either or both of them are under 18, then it is against the law."
The fact that it takes 8 levels of searching (after finding out that "Generate" exists in the first place), only to be given totally wrong information from the Government-referred body, surely indicates that correct information is not readily available to youth - let alone the rest of the public.
I believe that it is time that the Queensland Government took this issue seriously.
The easy way to achieve a resolution would be to do away with the obstructive Sodomy Law. If, however, we must continue for more than the briefest period of time with the Sodomy Law in place, then I believe that the Queensland Government would be negligent in failing to correct a serious case of misinformation within the general public.
I spoke to your Policy Advisor, Aaron Johnstone by telephone last Tuesday 4th July, and his suggestion was that the Health Department may be a more appropriate Department to act on this matter. Aaron has since advised that the files will be forwarded. Please also forward this letter to the Health Ministerís office.
I am happy to discuss this matter with anyone at any time.