*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
11th October 2001 Press Release to newspaper The Courier Mail, radio stations ABC, FM104, B105 and Triple J, television stations Bris 31, ABC TV, Network 10, Channel 7, QTQ 9. Sent with a copy of the age of consent pamphlet asking for broad media support in the light of the Attorney General’s 9th October 2001 that he won’t respond to any further correspondence from me.
Date: 11th October 2001
(Presenter and Producer of the Queer Radio support program on Community Radio 4ZZZfm.)
82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012.
07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Attorney General refuses to inform public about Age Of Consent – unofficial pamphlet released.
Queensland Attorney General Hon. Rod Welford today advised that he refuses to further discuss advising the public about the true application of Queensland’s Age Of Consent laws.
Most of the Queensland public has no idea about the true application of age of consent law in Queensland because the Queensland Government has never advised the public – via any media – about the affect of the "Sodomy Law" on legal sexual activity.
The "Sodomy Law" was enacted to appease conservative members of the Goss Labor Government as a pre-condition for allowing the "decriminalisation" of consenting sexual acts between men, in November 1990.
Most people in all areas of Queensland mistakenly believe that all sex between men aged under 18 is illegal - when in fact it is only the act of anal intercourse which is restricted to persons 18 and over – and that law applies equally to all men and women, regardless of their sexual preference.
The Attorney General has confirmed in writing (on 5th May 2000 and 5th September 2000) that the Age Of Consent is 16 for men and women for all other sexual activities.
Since September last year I have been corresponding with the Attorney General and the Premier, asking that funding (approximately a mere $5,000) be directed to an approved agency, such as the Queensland AIDS Council or Logan Youth Legal Service, in order to develop and distribute a suitable pamphlet.
The Premier refuses to comment beyond supporting any decision made by the Attorney General, and the Attorney General has consistently refused to acknowledge the real issues of this matter. He has also ignored my request for a personal meeting to clearly discuss why action is necessary.
Men aged 16 and 17, who have sex with other men, are placed at great risk through the perpetuated misinformation of the public, because they are denied effective health care, sexual health information and uncritical counselling support. They are also denied the crucial acceptance and respect that they should be able to expect from their family, schoolmates and work-mates. The current situation reinforces entrenched homophobia and directly contributes to the risk of suicide.
I have worked with several respected and professional Community Service Providers to develop a pamphlet, as attached, which clearly explains the current law, the nature of "consent" and also why accurate knowledge should be available to all. The pamphlet also has contact details for the contributing Service Providers. I have no funding to print or to widely distribute the pamphlet, but I believe this is a vital document – being the first printed statement of our current Age Of Consent law.
Today, 11th October 2001, I received a letter from the Attorney General (dated 9th October 2001) in which he states that he will not respond to any further correspondence from me on this matter.
All enquiries are welcome. I am available for interview at any time.
All correspondence with the Attorney General and the Premier is stored in a comprehensive file on the Internet atwww.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm.