*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of Queensland, Australia - A campaign to remove our Sodomy Law (which was enacted in 1990).

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12th August 2005 Email to the Attorney-General Linda Lavarch referring to the May 2005 Non-Government Report on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child In Australia which clearly calls for reform of the Queensland Sodomy Law. I also point out that the National Children’s & Youth Law Centre have been lobbying for our state to join the rest of Australia in setting 18 as the age of an adult under criminal law (currently it is 17 in Queensland). I suggest that these two reforms are linked in that they help protect and support youth and that they should be enacted simultaneously.  


 

----- Original Message -----

From: John Frame

To: Attorney-SMTP

Cc: ncylc@unsw.edu.au

Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 9:42 PM

Subject: further information re request for meeting on Sodomy Law reform

 

To the attention of Hon Attorney-General Linda Lavarch MP,

 

(Cc to James McDougall ncylc@unsw.edu.au of the National Children’s & Youth Law Centre)

 

I refer to my telephone calls to your office on 1st August 2005 (with Dimitri) and 9th August 2005 (with Mark Craven) and to my email of 2nd August 2005 - in which I have requested a representative group meeting for the discussion of reform of the Queensland Sodomy Law (Sections 208 & 209 of the Criminal Code).

 

Significant information came into my hands yesterday in that support for this reform is also clearly expressed in the May 2005 "Non-Government Report on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child In Australia":

http://www.ncylc.org.au/croc/images/CROC_Report_for_Web.pdf

 

That Report refers to concern on the Queensland Age Of Consent and the Sodomy Law on page 8:

 

"Age of consent

The discrimination faced by gay and lesbian young people was raised during the consultation process for this report.

Queensland participants, for instance, drew attention to the age of consent under the Criminal Code (Qld). The Code

makes all sexual contact with a person under the age of 16 illegal, with one exception - anal intercourse, for which the

age of consent is 18 years of age. The law is expressed without any reference to gender. However, advocates are

concerned at the level of ignorance in the community about the law and the level of community belief that homosexuals

have a different age of consent."

 

with the Recommendation:

 

"That State, Territory and Federal Governments review relevant anti-discrimination legislation to ensure that the right to freedom from age discrimination in all areas of life is protected. That the Federal Government review and repeal exemptions currently included in Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth) that permit age discrimination across a vast range of areas and conduct an education program specifically targeted at children. That states and territories give urgent consideration to revising the relevant education and Anti-Discrimination Acts to require that private schools be subject to State and Commonwealth antidiscrimination legislation."

 

I have also become aware that the National Children’s & Youth Law Centre http://www.ncylc.org.au have been calling for the Queensland Government to reform the Criminal Code to bring the age of an adult under Criminal Law in line with every other Australian State and Territory. Current Queensland Criminal Law treats 17 year olds as adults.

 

Current Queensland Law presents the appalling situation where a 17 year old who chooses to engage in anal intercourse may face criminal conviction under Queensland's Sodomy Law (because "consent" is considered irrelevant by the courts) and with up to 14 years imprisonment among hardened adult criminals. There is no other state or territory in Australia where a conviction would be possible, let alone being tried as an adult and such an abominable penalty.

 

I urge you to consider a Amendment to the Criminal Code which simultaneously eliminates the Sodomy Law and raises the age of an adult to 18. Both of these reforms are long overdue, urgently required and are justified on the grounds of equity alone.

 

I look forward to receiving your advice as to when a representative group meeting can be arranged or alternatively your advice that a meeting is not necessary due to the impending enactment of these reforms.

 

I note that my e-petition, which drew 740 signatories, has been officially tabled and forwarded to you for attention. I attended the Public Gallery of Parliament on the morning of Tuesday 9th August hoping to witness the presentation. I look forward to reading your response to that e-petition.

 

With sincere regards,

 

John Frame
presenter of Queer Radio www.queerradio.org
on community radio 4ZZZ fm102.1
Brisbane, Australia
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Post:
82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.

Full Queensland Sodomy Law Reform details and correspondence are stored at www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm  

 

----"There is no substitute for equality"----