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  1. John Frame
    John Frame at |

    The count should be 85 – with Australia included due to the fact that it’s large state of Queensland retains an active Sodomy Law (Section 208 of the 1899 Criminal Code). The age of consent for all other acts is 16, however Section 208 applies a penalty of up to 14 years in prison for any person not yet 18 who engages, or attempts to engage, in “sodomy” (anal intercourse). The law also applies to any person over 18 whom they might be doing sodomy with. Queensland is also the only region in Australia where 17 year olds can be sent to an adult prison. “Consent” is not accepted by the Courts as a defense to this crime. The “Sodomy Law” came into being in November 1990 when sex between men was otherwise “decriminalised”. The Government PCJC Report which led to that reform had also specifically recommended that the age of consent should be made equal at 16 for all persons, regardless of their gender or whether the act they were doing was considered “homosexual” or “heterosexual”. The Goss Labor Government of the time refused to enact an equal age of consent, and instead installed the Sodomy Law to placate MPs within their own ranks who had opposed decriminalisation and who held the irrational fear that older men would prey on younger men. The Sodomy Law was introduced due to ignorance and homophobia – and it remains because no Queensland government since 1990 has had the guts to make a simple change in law which would ensure equal treatment, protection and support of all youth, regardless of their gender or sexuality. Until the Queensland Sodomy Law is removed, Australia must be included among the worst nations in the world for laws which make homosexuality illegal. My website detailing 15 years of action on this law is at: http://www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm

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