Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of
30th November 2010 Email to Premier Anna Bligh and Attorney-General Cameron Dick (Cc Neil Roberts MP) Regarding the Courier Mail article 30th Nov 2010 “Indians proudly parade in landmark gay gala”. I remind the Premier and Attorney-General that in February 2010 Australia’s former High Court Justice Hon Michael Kirby CMG had cited the July 2009 legal reform in India as proof that Queensland is wrong to continue to deny equal age of consent reform. I also refer to my September 2010 guest address to Rainbow Labor, the consequent resolutions passed by several Labor Party branches and to my discussion on changing attitudes among Labor MPs with Dean Wells MP in October 2010.
From: John Frame [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 8:02 PM
To: The Premier; Attorney - SMTP
Subject: my 30 Nov '10 letter to the Courier Mail re age of consent reform in Queensland
To Hon. Premier Anna Bligh and Hon. Attorney-General Cameron Dick
C.c. my local MP Hon. Neil Roberts
Re: My letter to the Courier Mail 30 Nov 2010 re calling for equal age of consent in Queensland, following India (June 2009) and everywhere else in Australia (prior to 2003).
As per CM 30th Nov, p18, India's gay community is rightly proud to celebrate their first Queer Pride parade since legal equality at age 16 was enacted by their High Court in June 2009.
What a shame it is that the Queensland Government refuses to enact the same reform, even though our former High Court Justice Michael Kirby wrote, in February this year that:
"It is time that this last relic of criminal legal discrimination was removed in Queensland. It is a hangover from earlier, ignorant and prejudiced days. It exposes homosexual youth in Queensland to grave differential criminal penalties; potential harassment; and impedes effective strategies to respond in Queensland to the risks of HIV and AIDS in young people. All of the reasons given for the noteworthy decision of the Indian judges apply here. What India and the rest of Australia have already done, Queenslanders should now do by parliamentary action. It is a basic matter of equality of citizenship."
While Labor hold a clear majority in Queensland Parliament they ought to be making an urgent priority effort to follow through on their Policy Platform commitment to equality in laws related to age of consent.
(The original pdf file of Michael Kirby's statement is linked via http://www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm#Hon_Michael_Kirby )
In September I spoke in Parliament House as the invited guest of Rainbow Labor about equal age of consent reform, and I know that in recent weeks several Labor Branches have passed resolutions urging the Government to take prompt action.
In October Dean Wells MP and I were both official speakers at the "Transforming Lives, Remembering 1990" forum which was staged by the Museum of Brisbane at the State Library of Queensland as part of the award winning "Prejudice and Pride" Exhibit. I spoke about the great damage done in 1990 when Goss Labor ignored the PCJC Recommendation for true equality at 16 when passing a Bill to decriminalise sex between men, and instead installed a higher minimum age of 18 for anal intercourse (which was then commonly perceived as defining "homosexual sex").
After the forum Dean told me that in 1990 there was a very high level of homophobia among Labor MPs, but that homophobia has radically reduced among Labor MPs today (just as it has among the general community). The majority of the community could not possibly have any reason to object to this reform.
I am impressed to see your support being openly expressed on the justice inherent in equal marriage, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender of the couple. Surely it is even more important to speak out and to act on the justice inherent in a truly equal age of consent applying to all of our state's youth, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.
I welcome your reply, your reform action and any enquiry.
82 Main Ave., Wavell Hts 4012 Australia
Ph: (07) 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561
---"There is no substitute for equality"---