*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
26th September 2001 Letter to Attorney General Rod Welford with attached copy of finished pamphlet. I point out that there are only a few Community Legal Centres and that are not only very hard to find, but also very unlikely to have correct information to offer to anyone enquiring about age of consent and legal sexual activity.
To: Hon. Rod Welford
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
GPO Box 149
Reference: 2001/07589 letter dated 21st September 2001
From: John Frame
82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012
Phone: 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
Date: 26th September 2001.
Re: Attached privately developed and distributed Age Of Consent pamphlet.
Dear Mr Welford,
In your letter dated 21st September 2001 you state your belief "that a Community Legal Centre can convey information on legal matters more comprehensively than a brochure".
I agree that this is potentially true. The main problem is that there are so very few Community Legal Centres in existence even in the highly populated Greater Brisbane Area. A thorough search of the Yellow Pages suggests there may be only 3 or 4. The other problem is that, without a statement from your department clearly declaring the application of age of consent and the Sodomy Law, there is no likelihood that these centres will have correct information to give to any young person who approaches them.
Over the last few weeks I have consulted with professionals at the following community service agencies to develop a suitable pamphlet:
Logan Youth Legal Service, Queensland AIDS Council, Family Planning Queensland, Youth Advocacy Centre, Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service, Queensland Police Service.
These service agencies see the need for effective information of young people about age of consent and legal sexual activity. I have attached the resultant pamphlet, which achieves the aim of clearly stating the effect of current law as it affects both gay and straight youth. The language is sex-positive and inclusive. Stress is placed on the importance of true "consent", and of informed choice. Readers are also encouraged to seek further assistance from professional service providers.
Multi-award winning local Doctor Wendell Rosevear told me that he is very impressed with the document and he said such a pamphlet was well overdue.
The effective information communicated by the pamphlet will keep people out of prison. It will empower youth to care for their health, to respect their partners and to act within the law. It will encourage other members of the public to accept that all young people aged 16 and over have a right to make choices about sexual activity. It will thus combat homophobia and save lives.
What the pamphlet lacks is the official logo of a government department, which for some will be a key factor to its credibility. It is the sort of document I would have hoped to result from your department directing funds to Logan Youth Legal Service, for example. With my extremely limited funds I will not be able to distribute them widely but will do my best, because I know it is the right thing to do.