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).

what the law easy to read pamphlet...a brief story of the campaign so far...the need for community action...homosexual law reform history in Qld...Government legislation referencesCorrespondence Summary List...

The Hon Peter Beattie MP, Premier of Queensland.

Interview © by John Frame for 4ZZZ fm Ph: 3350 1562 / 0409501 561

Complete Interview transcript. (transcribed by John Frame 17th June 2001)

Recorded 10:10am Friday, 15th June, 2001.

At the launch of "Ideas At The Powerhouse" Conference

in the Courier Mail Rooftop Terrace at The Brisbane Powerhouse Centre For The Live Arts.

Topics in order by heading: 

  • Intro, "Ideas At The Powerhouse" Conference launch:
  • Support for gay & lesbian inclusion in the arts:
  • Progress of social equity for gay men, lesbians and transgenders:
  • Anti-Vilification Legislation:
  • Informing the public about Age of Consent:

Intro, "Ideas At The Powerhouse" Conference launch:

JF: Mr Peter Beattie, Premier of Queensland – it’s John Frame here from Queer Radio on 4ZZZ in Brisbane. How are you?

Good, I’m good John. Good to have you here - with a concept of ideas and the launch of the whole concept. Are you gonna come?

JF: Yeah, definitely…

I should say to all your listeners: come and be here for the Powerhouse, for the Ideas Conference – it’s a great idea!

JF: This is happening in August...

Yes indeed, and it’s about getting people with controversial ideas. I mean we’re not afraid – I expect there’ll be a lot of people here who don’t have views that I do, but we are sponsoring it – we’re putting money in it. Jim and I have got together about the concept because we actually want to exchange ideas. Out of ideas comes inspiration, policy direction – a whole lot of things like that, which is good.

Support for gay & lesbian inclusion in the arts:

JF: Fine. Also the Brisbane Powerhouse has been a controversial centre because it’s strongly supported gay and lesbian artists…as they deserve to be.

So? That’s a good thing. I don’t have a problem with that. I mean art – creativity – is not limited to any one section of the community - it’s important. And I think that we encourage all sections of the community and everyone’s got a clear message – why not? I don’t have a problem with that – I see a bit of controversy. A bit of controversy doesn’t hurt from time to time, you know – it gets all those conservatives like me off our tails! (~laughs~)

Progress of social equity for gay men, lesbians and transgenders:

JF: OK – A couple of years ago the Labor Government in Queensland got its foot in the door for social equity for gay men and lesbians – because we expect to be treated equally with every other Queenslander under the law…

Sure! Well we’ve done that in areas like Domestic Violence, Industrial Relations – a whole string of areas – and we’ve not been afraid to do that. And there’s been criticism, as you know, when some of the measures went though the Parliament – a number of National Party members said that the "wrath of god" would descend on me and – it hasn’t yet. Now, I’m not saying that in an anti-Christian sense, because I’m a Christian, but I mean – you know…We believe that anyone who’s a Christian knows that you treat people on what’s in their heart – not the gender; not their religion; not the colour of their skin or anything else. And whether you’ve got hair or not – now I don’t have a lot, but I don’t expect to be discriminated against because of my lack of… follicles – that what do you call it? – "desert", that I happen to have. Actually you’re about the same as me, now I think about it!

JF: That’s right. – Can we also expect that the Labor Government will be stepping forward – now that you have a very clear majority in Queensland, will we see more progress toward TRUE social equity for gay men, lesbians and transgenders in Queensland?

Well, as you know, there are a number of issues that we’re pursuing now. Any of our policies that we’ve spelled out, we spelled out prior to the election, we’ll deliver on those. We do have policies about equity and fairness and we will continue to pursue them – so, stay tuned.

Anti-Vilification Legislation:

JF: There’s a good friend of mine through our station - his best friend was (a man he was walking with at Wynnum) was murdered by thugs, after yelling abuse at him – gay slurs and such – and yet gay men and lesbians aren’t included in the Anti-Vilification Legislation. Is there a reason?

There’s a reason for that – because I gave a commitment to multicultural groups and ethnic groups, as a result of the Pauline Hanson phenomena, that we would do what we did. And that was specifically a commitment I gave as an anti-Pauline Hanson position. Now, some in the gay and lesbian community haven’t appreciated that – their issues are being considered as part of a general review of the Anti-Discrimination Legislation. But this was a major election commitment I gave to protect people from "anti-vilification" (sic) as a result of Pauline Hanson’s policies – and the strategies that had been pursued by some extremists. Now, we are continuing that review in terms of gay and lesbian issues - and we haven’t finalised that, but that’s where that is at the moment.

Informing the public about Age of Consent:

JF: And there’s one more issue:- I sent you a letter, also one to the Attorney-General, one to my local member Neil Roberts – and this is discussing the fact that with age of consent in Queensland… since the Goss Government in 1990 changed the actual way that it’s interpreted, most of the public doesn’t understand it. … I’m asking for the Government to actually issue a pamphlet to the public - make something available, so that they know what the story is.

What – the difference in ages of consent?

JF: Yes the fact that 16 year old men can have sex with other men, if they want to – that’s quite legal. It’s just that nobody is allowed to do anal sex until they’re 18.

That’s true.

JF: Most of the public don’t understand that and I’m just asking that they be told.

Alright, well if it’s about educative,(sic) educating about the existing law, well we’re always happy to do that, OK?

JF: That’s great. That’s wonderful. Thank you Mr Peter Beattie, Premier of Queensland.

OK John. All the best, thank you.

(end of interview)