*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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22nd March 2008  Email to Editor of the Courier Mail (C.c. Premier Anna Bligh, Attorney-General Kerry Shine) regarding the Queensland Government’s ongoing “Culture Of Inaction”.  The Courier Mail used that term in its front page on this day in reference to Queensland Health’s systematic lack of response to health and safety concerns for its remote area workers. I advise that I believe that eight years of inaction on Equal Age Of Consent reform is proof that a “culture of inaction” has been endemic within the Beattie and Bligh Queensland Governments.  I call for immediate action on this reform.

 

 

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

From: John Frame

To: cmletters@qnp.newsltd.com.au

Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:35 PM

Subject: Qld Health Department not alone in Qld's "Culture Of Inaction"

 

for publication

 

to The Editor, The Courier Mail

 

C.c. Premier Anna Bligh, Attorney-General Kerry Shine

 

Re: Qld Health Department not alone in Qld's "Culture Of Inaction" 

 

The Courier Mail's 22nd March 2008 front page refers to the "culture of inaction" within the Beattie and Bligh Governments of Queensland. However the Health department is clearly not an isolated case. For the last three years they have refused to act on a written recommendation by Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Susan Booth (dated 15th July 2005), that the age of consent be equalised at 16 - amending the current law which actively discriminates especially against 16 and 17 year old same sex attracted youth.

 

Mr Beattie Chaired the 1990 Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee in which he declared his support for the majority Recommendation for a truly equal age of consent at 16. This had also been specifically recommended in the May 1990 Report of the Criminal Justice Commission entitled “Reforms in Laws Relating to Homosexuality – an Information Paper” by the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Sadly the Goss Cabinet decided instead to introduce a Bill with a higher minimum age for anal intercourse (effectively setting a higher age for male to male sex).   

 

For the last eight years the Beattie and Bligh administrations have been aware that the current law also exposes youth to increased risk of HIV because the law actively impedes adequate relevant safe sex education for those youth (whether straight or gay) who might choose to engage in anal intercourse (estimated at 20% of ALL youth by La Trobe University research).

 

The Queensland Government refuses to declare any detailed reason for their ongoing inaction on equal age of consent reform. It is an embarrassing fact that since 2003 Queensland has been the only Australian state or territory which has not enacted a truly equal age of consent, a legal necessity for enabling the equal protection and support of all youth.

 

If the Bligh Government has any real sense of moral conviction then it must act immediately to allow Queensland youth the same level of protection and support as is afforded to every other Australian youth.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

John Frame
jvframe@ozemail.com.au
Qld Equal Age Of Consent details: www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
Post: 82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.
 
----"There is no substitute for equality"----