*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
12th November 2002 Letter to Premier Peter Beattie and Attorney General Rod Welford, responding to Mr Beattie’s public declarations about his “known stance” on social equity in the week following the 6th November 2002 proposed Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002. Mr Beattie reminded the media that he was Chairman of the Committee which presented the October 1990 PCJC Report on Homosexual Law Reform. That report recommended an unqualified equal age of consent. I again invite details of an opportunity for our delegation to meet with the Government to discuss amending the law.
The following is a full transcript.
To: Premier of Queensland, Hon Peter Beattie MP.
P0 Box 185
Brisbane Albert Street 4002
Copy to: Attorney-General Rod Welford MP
GPO Box 149
From: John Frame
(presenter for 9 years of Radio 4ZZZ’s gay support radio program Queer Radio)
82 Main Avenue,
Wavell Heights 4012.
Ph: 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Re: Congratulations and request for a meeting with our delegation.
Dear Mr Beattie,
Firstly I would like to repeat my letter to the Courier Mail which was printed on 8th November 2002:
I applaud the Beattie Government for acting astutely in the interests of social justice for all Queenslanders through the proposed reform package on November 6. Attorney-General Rod Welford said the reforms were designed to protect the human rights of Queenslanders and ensure the state remained a "tolerant and welcoming place to live and visit".
For myself and many of my friends it is now a safer and more supportive environment in which to get on with our lives with confidence, as active and proud members of the general community.
I am further encouraged by your statement, quoted in the Courier Mail by journalist Wayne Smith (CM 8th November 2002):
"I was one of the people, you may recall, who as chairman of the Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee, recommended the decriminalisation of sexual acts between homosexual consenting adults. My position on these issues of personal freedoms and personal liberties is well known."
Consequently I am writing to follow up my request for a meeting by a delegation with yourself and with Attorney General Rod Welford in order to establish rapid action to omit Section 208 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (Act No 3 of 1997), thereby ensuring that a truly equal age of consent exists in Queensland.
The October 1990 PCJC Report recommended that an equal age of consent was vital in assisting proper delivery of safe sex information to those most at risk. On page 75 you state that: “as a 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.”
With World AIDS Day coming up on 1st December, I suggest this would be the ideal opportunity for the Government to announce that it is acting to ensure the health of all Queenslanders is equally cared for, by equalising the age of consent for sexual activity and thereby giving all persons access to effective safe sex information.
The response of the media and public to last week’s Discrimination Law Amendment Bill proves the truth of my assertion in my recent letter to you (28th October 2002): “I further believe that since 1990 both the public and the Parliament have become more fully informed and aware of the reality of homosexuality as being just another fact of life, and certainly being neither a risk to society nor a perversion. They are ready to accept this socially just reform.”
You may not consider meeting a delegation to be necessary, but I would still like us to be informed or consulted regarding progress in this area. The delegation will include Jeff Cheverton (Brisbane Youth Service), Todd Buttery (Gay & Lesbian Welfare Association), Samuel Walker (Open Doors youth community service) and Roger Sawkins (Qld Police Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Project) – who has been an activist for reform for over 30 years, and who was an interviewee at the August 1990 PCJC Hearings into homosexual law reform.
The Attorney General’s office advised me in writing on 1st November that they had received my request for a meeting. We now await the confirmation of arrangements.
I look forward to hearing from you.
82 Main Avenue,
Wavell Heights. 4012
3350 1562 / 0409 501 561