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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5th January 2004 Email to all members of Parliament in Queensland (sent individually to each member). With a state election date expected to be announced soon, and still no indication of commitment to reform from the Beattie Government, this email effectively informs all members of every political party (and independents) and asks that they support Criminal Law reform through urgent elimination of the Sodomy Law.



From: John Frame

To:  all Queensland Members of Parliament

Sent: Monday, January 5, 2004

Subject: need for Law Reform to equitably support & protect youth


From:              John Frame                                                                            

                        82 Main Avenue,

                        Wavell Heights 4012

                        Phone: 07 3350 1562 / 0409 501 561



Date:               5th January 2004


Re:      Urgent need for Criminal Code Law Reform to ensure equal support and protection of Queensland youth.



To the Honourable Member of Parliament, Queensland,


I am writing to you with respect, in order to ensure that you are aware of a serious inequity in Queensland Law which has, since its enactment in 1990, severely limited the ability of the general community to offer adequate support to our State’s youth.


You may not realise that Queensland is the only State or Territory in Australia which has a “Sodomy Law” – one which proscribes specific sexual activity even to those above the age of consent (which in Queensland is 16).


In June 2003 the United States Of America Supreme Court instructed that all similar laws be removed from the statutes of all their States. The Court ruled that such laws invade personal privacy.


However privacy is not the only quality of life lost through such invasive laws. The stigma of illegality is applied to anyone presumed likely to engage in the proscribed acts and the laws were mainly used to actively discriminate against homosexual men and women.


Likewise, Queensland’s “Sodomy Law” (Sections 208 & 209 of the Criminal Code 1899) also enables active discrimination against anyone above the age of consent of 16, yet under the age of 18, who is presumed likely to engage in the proscribed act of “sodomy”.


“Sodomy” is defined by the Attorney General as “a penis entering an anus”.  This sexual activity is certainly NOT uncommon to heterosexual couples – however the overriding public impression is that it is a “male to male” activity. Consequently, no effective safe-sex education or relationships counseling is directed in support of 16 and 17 year old gay or bisexual youth.


Most tragically, because of the law, these youth also are also tainted as potential criminals. They are denied the ready acceptance and support of their peers and their family. Suicide is the major cause of death among Queensland teenagers. Low self-esteem due to angst regarding sexuality is one of the highest risk factors for youth suicide. Gay, bisexual and lesbian youth face a much greater risk of suicide than their heterosexual peers.


It is a matter of the utmost urgency that Queensland must amend its Law. All Queensland youth deserve an equal opportunity to be accepted and supported by their family and by their peers. All Queensland youth deserve the same protection and support from our Government and from all community services.


Our current Premier, The Honourable Mr. Peter Beattie MP, chaired the 1990 Parliamentary Committee which reported regarding “Homosexual Law Reform”. The PCJC Report specifically recommended that there should NOT be a higher legal age set for ANY gender or for ANY sexual activity. Parliament was offered (and accepted) a Bill which ignored that recommendation.


During 2003 major reforms in New South Wales and the Northern Territory have enacted a fully-equalised age of consent for sexual activity at 16. Now, both nationally and internationally, Queensland is clearly seen as red-necked and foolish in refusing to abolish its 13 year old Sodomy Law.


In 2004 I urge you to lobby and to vote in favour of equity in support and acceptance of Queensland youth – regardless of their gender or their sexuality. I urge you to be aware that Queensland Law is 13 years overdue for reform in this regard.


To confirm that the Sodomy Law is a serious impediment to effective community support in Queensland you may wish to contact the following representative groups:


  • Regarding how the Sodomy Law negatively impacts on youth:

- Meagan Probert, Manager of "Open Doors Youth Service", (Fortitude Valley) - a federally funded service especially in support of 14 to 19 year old gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Ph: 07 3257 7660


- Leisa Brandon or Murray, of "Logan Youth & Family Services", coordinators of the "2QT2BSRT8" youth support group. Ph: 07 3208 8199 Ext 5


  • Regarding how the Sodomy Law negatively affects sex education and relationships counseling of youth: 

- Carni Johnston, Media Contact Officer for "Family Planning Queensland" (Fortitude Valley). Ph: 07 3250 0222


  • Regarding how the Sodomy Law negatively impacts on HIV/AIDS sexual health education of youth: 

- Matt Gillett, General Manager of the "Queensland AIDS Council" (South Brisbane). Ph:  07 3017 1777 or 0407 575 398



I invite your comments or queries, but moreover I urge your full support for prompt reform through elimination of the Sodomy Law.


Yours sincerely,


John Frame.

presenter and coordinator since 1994

of community radio support program “Queer Radio”  on 4ZZZ fm102.1