*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
18th August 2000Email and letter sent 22nd August 2000 to Attorney General requesting a full definition of the word "sodomy" as applied under the Sodomy Law:
Attention: Attorney General Matt Foley MLA
Peter ClarkePolicy Adviser
Office of the Attorney-General
GPO Box 149
Your Ref: 2000 / 2159
From: John Frame
82 Main Avenue
Wavell Heights 4012
Ph: 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Date: 18th August, 2000.
(Written confirmation of email sent to you on 18th August 2000)
Re: Further legal definition requested of "sodomy" as per the Sodomy Law
Since receiving your advice dated 5th May 2000, in which you confirm that the age of consent is 16 for sex in general but 18 for sodomy, it has become clear that a further definition is required as to what exactly constitutes "sodomy".
The concern that some people have expressed to me is that "sodomy" could be taken to include activities other than anal intercourse.
In various countries and states around the world, "Sodomy" has been defined in different terms - some even including oral sex, mutual masturbation and indeed any sexual activity, which is not purely "penis and vagina" contact.
The meaning as it applies in law in Queensland must be made clear so that educators and counsellors can confidently and accurately give youth advice regarding legal sexual activity.
As you should be aware through my recent email, the Family Services Minister and Health Minister have refused to consider a public information campaign regarding the accurate interpretation of age of consent, the Sodomy Law and legal sexual activity.
The Government's only publicly available source of information on this subject is its "Generate" website for youth. If you try to find information from that site, you are eventually directed to the site of the Youth Advocacy Centre, and at the YAC site the information is wrong. The YAC site states that all sex with other men is illegal for men under 18 years. I have phoned, emailed and written to the YAC regarding this matter and have received no reply.
I believe that there is a serious problem when the Government has itself been involved in providing wrong information to the public and yet fails to take steps to make correct information available.
Steven Drew, Policy Advisor to Health Minister Wendy Edmond MLA, has advised that this is still a matter which should be handled by the Attorney-General's Department, because it is with regard to the public knowledge of law. He said that even though the end result of a wrongly informed public, as in this case, may affect health, it is not a Health Department matter per se.
The simple answer would be to eliminate the legislation which has created the potential for confusion - i.e. to remove the Sodomy Law and to advise the public accordingly.
Otherwise I believe that the Government has a duty of care to attempt to amend the situation and at least make sure that all health, law enforcement, education and social service groups are contacted and advised about the true and correct information.
I look forward to receiving your reply, with a full definition of the term "sodomy" as applied to Queensland's current Sodomy Law.
A comprehensive file of documents relating to this matter is stored atwww.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm.