*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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17th October 2006 Email to Premier Peter Beattie and Attorney General Linda Lavarch directing their attention to the 16th October 2006 announcement by the Hong Kong Government that they will no longer contest their High Courtís decisions that an equal age of consent for sexual activity must apply to all citizens at age 16. I ask that the Premier and Attorney-General find the Hong Kong decision to be inspiration for finally enacting a truly equal age of consent of 16 in Queensland.



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

From: John Frame

To: Premier Peter Beattie ; Attorney-SMTP

Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 4:47 PM

Subject: Hong Kong has enacted reform which Queensland must emulate


Dear Premier and Attorney-General,


As you both know we are well into the seventh long year in which I have been organising community lobbying of your Government to reform the Criminal Code and enact a truly equal age of consent. Apparently you do not consider it sufficient to have received clear and concise advice from the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Susan Booth (in July 2005) that this law ought to have been reformed urgently because it is definitely discriminatory. However I am hoping you may find inspiration from the announcement this week, as per the news item below, that Hong Kong's Government has decided to withdraw objections to a successive decisions by the High Court that a truly equal age of consent must apply to all of their citizens.


This reform in Hong Kong came about because one young man was brave enough to challenge the law through the Court system. You should not expect any Queensland youth to have to go through that same stressful procedure in order to achieve what you both must know in your hearts and minds ought to be done - which is to enact immediate reform. Any delay - even of one day - places more lives at greatly increased risk of self-harm, suicide and of HIV infection (through the obstruction of safe sex information).


The other issue which must be addressed at the same time is to bring Queensland into line with every other Australian State and territory by setting 18 as the age of an adult under our Criminal Code. The current law acts against all 17 year olds by denying them basic services and protection. I am aware that several individuals and legal groups have been urging you for quite some time on this particular matter.   


Within every other Australian State or Territory all men and women are equal in law at the same age - why is Queensland so embarrassingly reticent in allowing its own citizens that same protection and support? Surely your Government can after all this time, at the very least reveal that you have an actual plan for reform. It is unacceptable to keep proffering the line that this issue is "vexed". The point is that the issue is extremely serious and, vexed or not, it is long overdue for official Government action.


I await your favourable reply.


Your sincerely,


John Frame
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.


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




as per:http://www.caah.org/articles/articles/countries/asia/china/index2006b.htm


IOL (South Africa), World News
Author Not Stated (South African Press Association [SAPA] & Agence France-Presse [AFP]), 16/10/2006

Hong Kong's government on Monday caved in to a challenge against its gay sex laws, effectively lowering the homosexual age of consent from 21 to 16.

The decision followed a shaming government defeat in the courts when it vainly appealed against a judicial review's findings that the law governing the age of gay consent was unconstitutional.

In a short statement, the Security Bureau said it would not seek to reverse the court's decision.

"After considering all the relevant factors, the government decided not to appeal the judicial review," it read.

In a city that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1991, gays and lesbians had faced life imprisonment if they had performed sodomy before the age of 21. However, heterosexuals who had sex before 16 faced just a five-year sentence.

The court's decision in September rendered the law unenforceable and the next step will be for the administration to introduce legislation to remove the provision from the statute book.

"I fail to see on any basis the justification of this age limit," Chief High Court Judge Geoffrey Ma wrote in his judgement at the time.

"No evidence has been placed before us to explain why the minimum age requirement for buggery is 21 whereas as far as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is concerned, the age of consent is only 16," he said.

The case had originally been brought by 21-year homosexual William Leung. His lawyer hailed the government decision.

"Now they are not appealing it, which means they accept the fact and the court's judgement," said Michael Vidler.

"It's about time the government initiates steps to remove the law without further delay. Failure to do so will be a slap in the face for the constitution," Vidler added.


IOL [checked 17/10/2006]