*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
30th April 2008 Email to Premier Anna Bligh and to Attorney-General Kerry Shine referring to the 30th April 2008 announcement by Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland that the Rudd Government would be acting to fix 100 identified areas of national law which currently discriminate against same sex couples. I state that “The Rudd Government's action is highly praiseworthy - however equality in Queensland needs to first take the step of bringing its legal treatment of same sex attracted youth into line with the rest of Australia, by equalising the age of consent”.
I also question the validity of the Bligh Government’s claim that there are widely held views in opposition to this reform – citing the fact that a statewide hour long program on the ABC local radio network (7-8pm, 23 April 2008) discussed Queensland’s unequal age of consent in detail – and yet not one person opposed the suggestion that the age of consent should be truly equal at 16.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Frame
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 3:57 PM
Subject: Federal couples reform needs
To: Hon. Premier Anna Bligh and Hon. Attorney-General Kerry Shine
Dear Premier and Attorney-General,
Today, 30th April 2008, Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland announced a commitment to introduce law reforms which will effect equal treatment in federal law for same sex couples. The Rudd Government's action is highly praiseworthy - however equality in Queensland needs to first take the step of bringing its legal treatment of same sex attracted youth into line with the rest of Australia, by equalising the age of consent (at 16 as was recommended in Peter Beattie's 1990 PCJC Report on the decriminalisation of sex between men) and by also setting 18 as the age of an adult (as recommended by the management of the Youth Advisory Centre http://www.yac.net.au/ and others).
Queensland's thousands of same sex attracted youth must survive the undue pressures of the existing discriminatory laws before they can hope to experience the benefits of reforms which allow equity as couples or parents.
The sole defence which has been offered by the Queensland Government for its inaction, is that "The issue of the age of consent is a vexed one and one in which there are deeply held and opposing views." ( http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/EPetitions_QLD/responses/421-05.pdf ) However the public response to recent Courier Mail articles regarding equity for gay senior students and their response to ABC612's hour long public discussion on our age of consent (7-8pm, 23rd April 2008) are a strong indication that views opposing reform, no matter how firmly they might be held, are held by very few indeed.
I must expect that there is also only minor opposition to this reform within the ranks of Labor Members of Parliament.
The Bligh Government is in a position to make a major
positive decision to effect a brighter, equitable future for all
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
----"There is no substitute for equality"---