*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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1st July 2009 Email to all Queensland Members of Parliament, as well as to the Courier Mail. Federal law reforms which take effect from today will apply the same commitments and rights to all Australians, making no distinction between same sex couples and opposite sex couples (except in regard to marriage). The promotional slogan prominently advertised by Centrelink has been "COUPLES ARE COUPLES". However in Queensland that is simply not true. Centrelink will assess 16 and 17 year olds in same sex couples in exactly the same manner as opposite sex couples. However, in Queensland alone, same sex coupled 16 and 17 year old males will continue to face criminal prosecution and up to 14 years imprisonment if they choose to engage in sexual intercourse.

 

I pose two questions:

 

(1) As Members of Parliament, regardless of your personal moral conviction, you are all mature men and women. How many of you would reasonably expect that 16 and 17 year olds who are living as a couple would not be engaging in sexual intercourse?

 

(2) How many of you would expect that it would be fair for young same sex couples in Queensland to be criminalised on the basis of how they express love through sexual activity?

 


 

 

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

From: John Frame

To: (The Premier, Attorney-General, to each individual Member of Queensland Parliament and to the Courier Mail)

Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 2:08 PM

Subject: from today, 1st July 2009, Queensland law undermines Federal law in the equal treatment of same sex couples

 

 

Re: from today, 1st July 2009, Queensland law undermines Federal law in the equal treatment of same sex couples

       equal age of consent reform in Queensland now more urgently needed than ever

 

On several occasions over the last few years I have contacted every Queensland MP urging full awareness and reform action to amend Queensland's grossly discriminatory unequal age of consent. The current law criminalises sexual intercourse for same sex male couples until they are both 18. That law was passed by Goss Labor in 1990 in direct contradiction of the majority recommendation for a truly equal age of consent at 16 made in the October 1990 Report by the all-party Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee which was Chaired by Peter Beattie (as per the Report page 49 of http://www.queerradio.org/PCJC_law_reform_report_October_1990.pdf).    

 

Federal law reforms which take effect from today will apply the same commitments and rights to all Australians, making no distinction between same sex couples and opposite sex couples (except in regard to marriage). The promotional slogan prominently advertised by Centrelink has been "COUPLES ARE COUPLES". However in Queensland that is simply not true. Centrelink will assess 16 and 17 year olds in same sex couples in exactly the same manner as opposite sex couples. However, in Queensland alone, same sex coupled 16 and 17 year old males will continue to face criminal prosecution and up to 14 years imprisonment if they choose to engage in sexual intercourse.

 

Here are two questions for you:

 

(1) As Members of Parliament, regardless of your personal moral conviction, you are all mature men and women. How many of you would reasonably expect that 16 and 17 year olds who are living as a couple would not be engaging in sexual intercourse?

 

(2) How many of you would expect that it would be fair for young same sex couples in Queensland to be criminalised on the basis of how they express love through sexual activity?

 

The higher minimum age for anal intercourse was passed by Goss Labor in 1990 as a "behind closed doors" consolation for a small number of Labor MP's who had expressed opposition to the decriminalisation of sex between men. It was a bad law which pandered to ignorance and was based purely on bigotry. It offered no youth any extra protection, and only caused harm by actively discriminating against same sex attracted male youth.

 

In July 2005 Queensland AntiDiscrimination Commissioner Susan Booth wrote to the Premier and Attorney-General advising that reform was urgently required to allow a truly equal age of consent at 16. (see http://www.queerradio.org/AOC150705_ADCQ.htm )

 

However the Queensland Government has so far ignored the Commissioner's recommendation. Since 2007 the only statements made by the Premier and Attorney-General have been limited to saying that they have "no plans for reform". They have refused to offer any reasoning for that stance - a stance which is insupportable when you consider that since at least 2008 Queensland Labor's Policy Platform, Section 7.9 of the Justice and Governance Chapter, has been: "7.9 Labor will ensure uniformity of age among laws relating to the age of consent for lawful sexual activity;"

 

On 18th October 2008 Qld Labor's Kingston Regional Conference passed a resolution calling for the Government to act on that Policy - and the online record shows that a response is still outstanding.

 

Since it is clearly Queensland Labor's own written official Policy to act on equal age of consent reform, when will the Queensland Government bring this state into line with the rest of Australia in allowing equal protection and support of ALL youth by amending the Criminal Code to define a truly equal age of consent?

 

The last attempt the Queensland Government made to fix this law was in Labor's 1995 Revised Criminal Code, which had set a truly equal age of consent at 16. It is truly tragic that the Code was repealed in 1996 by the Borbidge Nationals led Coalition - who then reinstated and regressively revamped the 1899 Code. In the intervening 14 years public attitudes on social equity have progressed enormously.  It's time one more determined effort was made to fix this law - especially now that Federal law tells young same sex couples they are equal, while Queensland law tells them they are criminals.

 

I welcome your response and urgently request your support for reform action.

 

All my information, resource data and correspondence since 2000 is stored via:

http://www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm  

 

Yours sincerely,

 

John Frame
jvframe@ozemail.com.au
http://www.queerradio.org/JohnFrame.html
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
Post: 82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.
 
----"There is no substitute for equality"----