Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
17th May 2011 Email to Premier Anna Bligh, Attorney-General Paul Lucas, Neil Roberts MP and Dean Wells MP. On this day opinion polls predicted a continuing trend of failing popularity for Queensland Labor, with the strong likelihood of them being thrashed in the 2012 election by a margin of 2 to 1.
Again I urge the Labor Government to demonstrate that it can live up to its own moral principles, as written in its Policy Platform, and enact equal age of consent reform, at age 16, while they still hold a clear majority. They know that this reform is justified and long overdue – they just need to find the fortitude to act by their conscience and ensure that this legislation is safely passed, because it will never be enacted by the outspokenly homophobic Liberal National Party.
From: John Frame [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, 17 May 2011 5:54 PM
To: Dean Wells MP for Murrumba; Attorney - SMTP; The Premier; Neil Roberts Nudgee Electorate Office
Subject: Labor must pass equal age of consent reform while they still hold a majority
To the Honourable:
Premier Anna Bligh,
Attorney-General Paul Lucas,
Neil Roberts MP (my local Member) and
Dean Wells MP (who was A-G in 1990 when Labor ought to have enacted an equal age of consent at 16).
Dear Premier, Attorney-General, Neil and Dean,
With poll results today indicating a certain loss for Labor in 2012 I am begging you to finally act on your Party's Policy Platform commitment to equity in laws related to age of consent.
Dean will tell you that a deliberate, but not publicly explained, decision was made in November 1990 to ignore just one of the nine majority Recommendations of the PCJC Report No 2 of 1990 on Reforms in Laws Related to Homosexuality ( http://www.queerradio.org/PCJC_law_reform_report_October_1990.pdf ).
Recommendation 7 was 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.”
Dean is responsible for the only effort made since 1990 to follow through on that Recommendation, which was in 1995 with his Revised Criminal Code - which was tragically repealed in 1996 as the first action of the short-lived Borbidge National / Liberal coalition. The Nationals stance on this law remains unchanged - the ingrained homophobia of their membership and their Members of Parliament will ensure that same sex attracted Queensland youth will continue to be discriminated against and to be persecuted as a direct consequence of the 1899 Criminal Code's "Sodomy Law" (Section 208).
The only hope for equity in law for all Queensland youth lies in your hands. After 20 years surely you must all realise that the 1990 decison to allow a discriminatory age of consent was very wrong, and you must acknowledge that it is of immense importance that the law be seen to protect and support all youth with equity.
In February 2010 eminent retired High Court Justice Michael Kirby publicly declared his absolute support for equal age of consent reform in Queensland (http://www.queerradio.org/Hon_Michael_Kirby_3rdFebruary2010.pdf), concluding by stating: "It is time that this last relic of criminal legal discrimination was removed in Queensland. It is a hangover from earlier, ignorant and prejudiced days. It exposes homosexual youth in Queensland to grave differential criminal penalties; potential harassment; and impedes effective strategies to respond in Queensland to the risks of HIV and AIDS in young people. All of the reasons given for the noteworthy decision of the Indian judges apply here. What India and the rest of Australia have already done, Queenslanders should now do by parliamentary action. It is a basic matter of equality of citizenship."
I don't ever want to see Labor lose power in Queensland, but if the loss is inevitable, then I want to see the Party go down having proved that the Party has the moral fortitude to both act by and to fight for its stated Principles. As per the timeless quote from Joseph Heller's "Catch 22": "It is better to live on your feet, than to die on your knees."
I want Labor to live long and prosper, but only if it is willing to prove that it is a Party worth fighting for.
Please act urgently to remove the discriminatory Section 208 from the Criminal Code, and thus allow Queensland to catch up with every other Australian state and territory in the equal treatment of youth.
I welcome your response.
82 Main Ave., Wavell Hts 4012 Australia
Ph: (07) 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
---"There is no substitute for equality"---