*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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26th October 2007 Email to Premier Anna Bligh re her ABC Radio 612 declaration, earlier this day, that her Government is not even considering the issue of Equal Age Of Consent Reform.

 

On 26th October 2007 Premier Anna Bligh spent just seven seconds on ABC612’s “Madonna King” program dismissing a 19 year old gay Brisbane man’s question on when Equal Age of Consent Reform would happen. I knew that Peter would be calling, so I listened with some hope that our new Premier might have a more compassionate attitude: Hear the audio (30secs, 350k mp3)

 

Peter of Taringa was told by the show’s producer that he had to keep his question to the Premier succinct, so he asked:

“I was wondering when the Queensland Government was going to change the age of consent laws between differing sexual activities from 18 for anal intercourse to 16 to be in line with vaginal intercourse?

 

Premier Anna Bligh’s response was:

“Peter, our Government has no plans to consider that issue. So I guess that the answer to your question is that there is no time frame because we have no plans in relation to that.”

When I heard this I immediately phoned the ABC in the hope of asking Premier Bligh for exact reasons why her Government is not considering this reform, but I was told that they do not allow callers to ask questions on matters which had “already been dealt with”. I then sent this email to Premier Bligh expressing my disappointment at her display of indifference, and also posing the 2 questions that she needs to answer in detail.

 

 

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

From: John Frame

To: Premier Anna Bligh

Cc: Peter

Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 12:19 PM

Subject: Anna Bligh answer on Madonna King show 26th Oct '07

 

To:       Premier Anna Bligh ThePremier@premiers.qld.gov.au

C.c. to: Peter

 

Dear Ms Bligh,

 

I listened with hope to your session on today's Madonna King program on ABC612. The reason for that hope was that I knew that 19 year old Taringa resident Peter R****** would be phoning in to ask you a question regarding reform of Queensland's unequal age of consent.

 

Peter had sent me a copy of the 24th September 2007 email which he sent to yourself and to the Attorney-General. 

 

So you ought to be aware that Peter is a 19 year old gay man in a 2 year relationship with an 18 year old man. Peter has advised you that he has personally experienced some of the severe negative consequences of the current law.

 

I was therefore horrified to hear you instantly dismiss his question, when  - in just one line - you quoted the "no plans for reform" line which has been repeated - without any qualification - over the last few years by former Premier Peter Beattie and by the last four Attorneys-General.

 

You might as well have reached through the phone line and slapped Pete R******'s face. Our state's youth deserve more respect than this - they also deserve to be valued enough to be treated with equity.

 

The two Equal Age Of Consent questions which needs to be answered with urgency are:

 

1. "Exactly what are the specific reasons for the Queensland Government's failure to enact a truly equal age of consent, especially in light of the specific July 2005 recommendation (as repeated in full further below) by its Anti-Discrimination Commissioner that urgent action was necessary.

 

2. "Considering that it has been at least three years since every other Australian state and territory enacted a truly equal age of consent, by which year will Queensland finally allow that same vital act of equal support and protection for youth?

 

I still hold some hope that you will answer these questions in sufficient detail, and I welcome your reply.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

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


 

 

as per: http://www.queerradio.org/AOC150705_ADCQ.htm 

 

15th July 2005 Letter from Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Susan Booth to  Attorney-General Rod Welford and to  Premier Peter Beattie declaring that Queensland’s Sodomy Law “discriminates on the basis of sexuality. These provisions of the Criminal Code are inconsistent with the object of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 to promote equality for everyone and protect them from unfair discrimination, and the premise upon which the legislation was enacted, namely, that everyone should be equal before and under the law and have the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.”

 

The Commissioner concludes by stating that It is now imperative that Queensland remove the age difference for lawful heterosexual and homosexual sex between consenting sexual partners. These legislative changes will ensure that Queensland law is consistent with the International Covenant and local discrimination law, it will reflect contemporary realities of society, and assist in addressing the increase in HIV infections.”

 

 

ADCQ

Anti Discrimination Commission

Queensland

Our Ref: E/0009

 

15 July 2005

 

The Honourable Rod Welford MP

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice

GPO Box 149

BRISBANE OLD 4001

 

Dear Attorney-General

 

DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SEXUALITY - QUEENSLAND'S SODOMY LAWS

 

I write in support of various community organisations and individuals who are seeking the repeal of Queensland's Sodomy laws.

 

The provisions of the Criminal Code which impose different minimum ages at which persons can lawfully participate in sexual intercourse are inconsistent with the objects of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

 

The real effect of the Code that makes vaginal intercourse unlawful for a person aged under 16 years, and anal intercourse unlawful for a person aged under 18 years is to treat homosexual males differently to heterosexual males and females. It therefore discriminates on the basis of sexuality.

 

These provisions of the Criminal Code are inconsistent with the object of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 to promote equality for everyone and protect them from unfair discrimination, and the premise upon which the legislation was enacted, namely, that everyone should be equal before and under the law and have the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.

 

In 1994 in the case of Toonen V Australia, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Riqhts prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The older age limit for lawful sodomy in section 208 of the Criminal Code therefore constitutes a discriminatory provision which breaches Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Other States and Territories have, since the decision in Toonen, repealed similar discriminatory and homophobic laws.

 

As well, the statistics recently released by Queensland Health and the research of Melbourne's La Trobe University indicate that homosexual males under the age of 18 are sexually active, many are not practicing safe sex, with an increased incidence of HIV infection. Queensland's sodomy laws essentially criminalise the consenting sexual activity of 16 and 17 year old same sex attracted youth. With now clear evidence of increasing risk of infection in this age group, a law which criminalises their sexual activity (but not their straight friends) should be repealed. Any law that may contribute to an unwillingness to disclose that they are members of this high risk group should be repealed on health grounds alone.

 

The research provides a clear message. It is now imperative that Queensland remove the age difference for lawful heterosexual and homosexual sex between consenting sexual partners.

 

These legislative changes will ensure that Queensland law is consistent with the International Covenant and local discrimination law, it will reflect contemporary realities of society, and assist in addressing the increase in HIV infections.

 

Yours sincerely

 

SUSAN BOOTH

Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Queensland

 

 

Cc                              The Honourable Peter Beattie MP

                                    Premier and Minister for Trade

                                    P0 Box 15185

                                    CITY EAST QLD 4002

 

Cc                                Mr John Frame

                                    82 Main Avenue

                                    WAVELL HEIGHTS QLD 4012

 

Cc.                               Action Reform Change Queensland

                                    PO Box 3142

                                    South Brisbane Business Centre Qld 4101