Campaign for Age Of Consent awareness & removal of The Sodomy Law in Queensland

*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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29th May 2004 Email to the Editor of the Courier Mail. Seeking mainstream press support in raising public awareness of the need to reform the Queensland Criminal Code by removal of the Sodomy Law.


From: John Frame

To: cmletters@qnp.newsltd.com.au

Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 2:50 PM

Subject: Action from CM re Qld's "Sodomy Law"

 

To The Editor,

 

Re: Seeking Courier Mail support for equity in treatment of youth through encouraging Beattie Gov't to enactment reform of Queensland's "Sodomy Law" (Sections 208 & 209 of the Criminal Code).

 

My name is John Frame and since 1994 I have been the presenter of the community radio support program Queer Radio www.queerradio.org on 4ZZZ fm102.1.

 

I have made efforts over the past 4 years to get the Courier Mail to investigate or publish material regarding Queensland's 1990 "Sodomy Law" (enacted by the Goss Government). This is an unnecessary and archaic law which only serves to complicate understanding of how the "age of consent" applies in Queensland, and which prevents health and education agencies from feeling empowered to provide effective safe-sex advice and relationships counseling to young gay and bisexual men (especially 16 and 17 year olds).

 

Last July I spoke with Sandra McLean, who was very supportive regarding an article I had contributed for consideration in the Perspectives page. However I was advised that senior editors had declined publication. My submission included contact details for relevant authorities who could confirm the validity of this issue (persons from Queensland AIDS Council, Family Planning Queensland, Open Doors Youth Service, Logan Youth & Family Services).

 

It is important to note that Premier Peter Beattie himself strongly recommended against any "Sodomy Law" in his official statement as Chair of the 1990 PCJC Committee on Homosexual Law Reform. He accepted the evidence of expert testimonies which defined the negative consequences of such laws - especially in that they severely impede the equitable support and acceptance of gay and bisexual youth and do damage to their self-esteem.

 

In that PCJC Report statement Mr Beattie said that he wanted his children to grow up in a system which enabled adequate safe sex education and support for all youth. However Parliament chose to ignore the Report's majority recommendation and enacted a "Sodomy Law" and since then adequate safe sex education has ONLY been directly toward heterosexual youth. Mr Beattie might be relieved if his sons have happened to be neither gay nor bisexual, but he should be very concerned about the numerous youth placed directly at risk in the last 14 years and who continue to be at risk through his Government's unwillingness to reform the Criminal Code.  

 

Queensland is the only state or territory in Australia to retain a Sodomy Law and the Beattie Government needs to be pushed by mainstream press to have the political guts to finally get the law reformed, so that all our state's youth get equal opportunity for support, sexual health education and protection.

 

Below is the most recent of 4 years worth of correspondence I've had with the Beattie Government. I welcome any opportunity to offer information and support to the Courier Mail on this issue.

 

For the last 4 years my own website www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm has been the major source of accurate information regarding age of consent and lawful sexual activity in Queensland. That site has all the legislative and historical references needed for full understanding the issues involved. 

 

I know that I am too small a voice (even with my community radio audience) and I believe that this is a major public issue, NOT a gay rights issue. I am concerned that without pressure from mainstream press the Beattie Government will simply continue to stonewall on reform of the Criminal Code by removal of Sections 208 and 209 and I urge you to act.

 

I look forward to hearing from you 

 

John Frame
presenter of Queer Radio www.queerradio.org on 4ZZZ fm102.1
Brisbane, Australia
Post:
82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012 QLD. Australia
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
more details: www.queerradio.org/JohnFrame.html
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as per http://www.queerradio.org/AOC270504.htm :

 

27th May 2004 Letter to Premier Peter Beattie, Attorney General Rod Welford and Neil Roberts MP (my local MP). I request a clear timeframe for removal of the Sodomy Law. With their renewed massive majority in the current (February 2004) Parliamentary term this should present no political risk.  I remind that Queensland is the only Australian State or Territory to retain such a law.


From: John Frame

(Queer Radio Presenter / Coordinator)

82 Main Avenue,

Wavell Heights 4012

Ph: 3350 1562 /  0409 501 561

jvframe@bigpond.net.au  www.queerradio.org

 

Date: 27th May 2004.

To:       Neil Roberts MP for Nudgee

            Hon. Premier Peter Beattie MP

            Attorney General Rod Welford MP

Re:       Ongoing unresolved reform of Queensland’s “Sodomy Law” (Sections 208 and 209 of the Criminal Code).

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to you all to request a clear statement about a timeframe for reform of Queensland’s Sodomy Law – Sections 208 and 209 of the Queensland Criminal Code.

You will be aware that I have been in correspondence with each of you, or with your departments, since March 2000 regarding the vital social justice aspects which impact especially on gay and bisexual male youth, and which will continue to do so until these sections are removed.

As you are all informed and reasonable persons, I must believe that you also personally agree that this law must be reformed. Mr Beattie’s official statement as Chair of the 1990 PCJC Committee on Homosexual Law Reform was in clear opposition to the enactment of any Sodomy Law. Therefore I must conclude that, as a Government, you perceive a political advantage in continuing to delay reform. I believe however that Queensland’s current position, as the only Australian State or Territory maintaining a Sodomy Law, is both ethically unsupportable and morally questionable.

I also believe that it is only fair and reasonable that you advise a clear timeframe for enacting reform. You have a massive majority in this current Parliament, and this is a matter of clear social justice for the protection and support of youth.

I welcome an early and positive reply.

As previously advised, all of the correspondence regarding my efforts toward this reform, since February 2000, is on public record via my website at www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm. I believe this site has been the major source of accurate public information on age of consent and lawful sexual activity in Queensland since its inception and I look forward to the day when that webpage is no longer a necessity.

Yours sincerely,

John Frame.