*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
10th August 2004
Email (with confirming
letter) to Premier Peter Beattie, pointing out that there is a high HIV risk to youth
inherent in the
----- Original Message -----
From: John Frame
Subject: HIV risk to youth inherent in the Queensland Sodomy Law
To: Hon. Premier Peter Beattie MP
Re: Mr Beattie and the direct link between the Sodomy Law and the increased risk of HIV/AIDS to 16 and 17 year old youth - a major reason for urgent law reform.
(A hard copy of the email will be
Dear Mr Beattie,
In the 1990 PCJC Report on Homosexual Law Reform you personally declare your support for an equal age of consent (regardless of the sexual activity). On page 72 of the Report you state that: “I am in full support of almost all aspects of this Report and certainly the first eight recommendations. Those recommendations are the majority recommendations of the Committee and are put before the Government and the Parliament for Legislative consideration and debate.”
Recommendation 7 of the report was: “THE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE AGE OF CONSENT FOR HOMOSEXUAL ACTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF SEXUAL EQUALITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BE THE SAME FOR MALES AS IT IS FOR FEMALES, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE SEXUAL ACT IS HETEROSEXUAL OR HOMOSEXUAL. (THIS PRINCIPLE IS HIGHLIGHTED IN POINT ONE ON PAGE 60 OF THE COMMISSION’S REPORT.)”
Pages 44-49 of the Report deal specifically with testimony and information which is strongly in support of Recommendation 7. The Committee declared its view that a sodomy law would most likely have no effect on “the practice of homosexuality in private” (i.e. anal intercourse), but would instead affect “whether safe sex is practiced and whether the community is susceptible to particular AIDS education programs.”
As per page 48 of the Report: “The Committee was of the view that the professional advice put before it concludes the following:-
1. Sexual orientation is most likely determined early and while the age is not determinable it is most likely before puberty.
2. Once sexual orientation is determined it is very difficult if not impossible to change.
3. The law regardless of whether it makes homosexual sex between consenting males in private legal or not has little impact or no impact on the practice of homosexuality in private. Its impact is in relation to whether safe sex is practiced and whether the community is susceptible to particular AIDS education programs.”
I know for a fact that the Sodomy Law acts to prevent education and
health services from providing 16 and 17 year old male and female youths with
safe sex information on the activity of anal intercourse – exactly as was
feared in your PCJC Report. Of great concern is that research published in 2001
by Dr Jo Lindsay for La Trobe University indicates
that nearly a quarter of all male and female youth engage in anal intercourse. (Lindsay, J (2001) ‘Sex, drugs and
drinking: Health risks in the social lives of young workers’ Youth Studies
When a quarter of our male and female youth are doing anal intercourse – and yet are being denied safe sex information regarding that specific behaviour, then this alone is the evidence you need to push ahead with urgent – if not immediate – reform of the Sodomy Law.
Any delay greatly increases the risk of more young men and women becoming HIV positive.
On page 78 of the PCJC Report you state that “As
the father of three young children I am determined to do everything in my power
to ensure that by the time my children reach their teenage years everything is
done over the years to wipe out AIDS.” However
the main thing that has not been done to wipe out AIDS in the last 14 years,
and which directly affects all
For the sake of all current and future 16 and 17 year
old male and female youth in
I also ask if you can inform me as to when that reform is likely to occur.
presenter of Queer Radio www.queerradio.org
on community radio 4ZZZ fm102.1
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
more details: www.queerradio.org/JohnFrame.html
-----"There is no substitute for equality"-----
P.S. all correspondence is stored online at http://www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm