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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Queensland Pride magazine


mini image of QP June 2007 cover

June 2007 edition


Page 3 “Pride News”:


 (click to view full size jpg image of source of this text)


Age of consent campaign goes high tech


Govt inaction spurs new lobbying effort via DVD. Iain Clacher reports.


The campaign for an equal age of consent in Queensland has gone high tech with MP’s this month set to receive a DVD of video statements from prominent supporters of reform.


The 40-minute DVD features contributions from activists and experts such as Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Susan Booth, psychologist and psychotherapist Tim Klein, Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) general manager Paul Martin, PFLAG president Shelley Argent, Action Reform Change (Qld) spokesperson Rod Goodbun and 22-year old 4ZZZ Queer Radio announcer Felix Kellett.


Kellett’s co-presenter John Frame said the Beattie Government’s repeated refusals to discuss reform with LGBT community representatives had inspired him to make the DVD.


“After seven years of requesting meetings with Premier Peter Beattie and his four attorney-generals and having those requests turned down, I decided to bring the community to them,” Frame told Queensland Pride.


“My hope is that this video shows there’s support for reform from reputable people in the community and that the combination of these six statements makes a convincing argument that reform is not only justified but urgently needed,” he said.


One of the main reasons for urgent reform is that the unequal age of consent prevents young people from accessing vital health and safe sex information, according to QAHC’s Paul Martin.


“If young people are concerned that they’re going to be criminalised or dobbed in or shown to break the law, they’re less likely to come forward to get safe sex information, resources and support,” Martin said.


PFLAG president Shelley Argent agreed the law hampered safe-sex education.


“These days, young people, whether they’re straight or gay, are engaging in sexual practices at an earlier age. Our heterosexual young people, they do have the benefit of safe sex education or relationship education, because it’s there in the high schools all the time.


“But our same-sex attracted youth don’t have that benefit. They’re getting very little information and most of it is negative. And again a lot of the same sex young people, they’ve got low self-esteem because they’re hearing all the time that to be gay or lesbian is bad,” she said.


Psychologist Tim Klein said the age of consent was part of the “systemic abuse” of same-sex attracted young people.


“[It] very clearly gives out the message [that] ‘you’re not equal’.


“Discrimination and the message of inferiority, the message of lack of acceptance, the message of contempt, that those lack of equal rights give, that can then have ongoing psychological impacts on same-sex attracted individuals,” Klein said.


Felix Kellett, 22, said that although the unequal age of consent did not deter many young people from engaging in sexual activity, it helped create an unhealthy environment of silence and repression in schools.


“My experiences in late high school were of depression, and I think there were a few other people in my year … that [had] the same experience of depression and may have been having the same causes [intolerance of different sexual orientation].”


The ADC’s Booth said Queensland’s unequal age of consent was “not consistent” with the government’s own Anti-Discrimination Act.


“These laws discriminate on the basis of sexuality. The Anti-Discrimination Act requires that everyone should be equal before the law – and that includes equal benefit of the law, without discrimination,” she said.