*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
15th August 2001 Letter to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie in response to a letter 13th August 2001 from his office. I provide a clear and concise statement of my expectations and point out the failed logic in his letter. I again request a personal interview to discuss the matter in reasoned detail.
To: Premier Peter Beattie
Office ofthe Premier and Minister for Trade
100 George Street Brisbane
P0 Box 185 Brisbane Albert Street
Queensland 4002 Australia
Reference: "quote: MCU 13 August 2001"
From: John Frame
82 Main Avenue,
Wavell Heights 4012
Ph 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Re: Your letter 13th August and need for personal meeting.
Dear Mr Beattie,
Thank you for the letter dated 13th August 2001, written on your behalf by Chief of Staff Rob Whiddon.
Unfortunately that letter shows an almost complete misunderstanding of what I am requesting, and I urge you to contact me or to speak to me in person to further discuss the matter.
I assume that the Government is not deliberately side-stepping admission of the real issues that I have clearly stated as being of serious concern.
What I am asking, in concise form, is:-
"That the general public have reasonable and ready access to Government-backed written information which states what the current law means in relation to age of consent and legal sexual activity. By "public" I also mean government service providers, including law enforcement; legal; health; counselling; and education"
It is not sufficient for a minority of young people, alone in the community, to think that they know the law.
Young same-sex attracted men need to know that they can safely act within the law and, at the same time, expect the protection of the law. They also deserve to have hope for acceptance by their peers, family and work-mates. This can only happen if as many as possible of their surrounding community members also know and understand the law.
Homophobic persecution of 16 to 18 year old men will persist as long as the majority of the general public holds the belief that such men are acting illegally if they engage in any sexual conduct with other men.
You suggest that "Community Legal Centres can also talk to young people about their concerns and provide them with the appropriate referrals to other organisations that can help them." You must be aware that such legal centres are extremely rare and I must also tell you that there is no likelihood that those centres would understand the law in this regard.
You further state "many of these Centres also provide information on their websites for young people to access. As you will understand, the younger generation is very comfortable with this technology and it provides a very easy way for them to find out about issues such as the legal age of consent." This suggestion would only be valid if there was a Government backed site on the Internet which held such information. There is no such site.
Worse still there are several sites with wrong information and no person, young or old, could readily tell which has more validity. The Government must make the information available in easy-to-understand pamphlet form, and also take the responsibility of hosting the information on their own site. It is useless to refer to other sites where no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of displayed information.
A classic example of this is the international age of consent data website " www.ageofconsent.com", which, despite 3 separate advices over a period of 3 months, still displays wrong data about Queensland law. Please note that I have even sent them copies of our Attorneys-Generalís letters.
I trust you will understand that this matter is far from settled and that no real attempt has been made, as promised by the Premier, to educate the public about the existing laws.
I look forward to hearing from you.