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Peter Tatchell repeats calls for lowered age of consent

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  1. Mm but Peter, how come we don’t charge teenage girlies/single mums for underage sex but give them a flat instead? And where are the boys who got them up the duf…pregnant? or is it true that you can find a baby in a goosberry patch (or if you are a celeb a foreign orphanage)Personally, I woud fine and punish underage pregnancies because it puts such a strain on local services and the tax payers end up funding their designer pushchairs that clutter up the pavements and buses (Oh dear I am on one today!!!)

  2. Ryan Haynes - fyi radio 24 Sep 2009, 2:50pm

    I’ve never ever ever heard of anyone under 16 being prosecuted for having sex – totally ridiculous.

  3. Under 16′s are not being prosecuted for having sex and it looks to me like Peter Tatchell has just run out of ways to keep himself in the media spotlight. The fact is that this will only be used by the right wing to soak up votes from those whose main contention against gays rights has always been the potential of older men abusing young boys. With the labour government who have given us all our rights, looking very vulnerable in the next election, Peter is making the situation worse with his unnecessary stance. It only takes one Tory administration to take away everything we have obtained by way of equality and we’re back to clause 28 days. Peter wants us to give him a fiver a month to enable him to continue to speak on our behalf. I’d gladly think about paying him £5 per month not to speak on my behalf.

  4. I totally agree with you, Mike.

  5. Before 2003 and the new sexual offences act, it was a crime on the book for two gay men to meet in public. Just standing in the street talking could be turned in to by the police that they were picking each other up. The law was seldom used , but it was always a threat, that in the wrong hands could be abused. I think what Peter is trying to point out with the age of consent that expermintation by two 15 year olds with each other could ruin the whole of their lives. Because as the law stands it could be conceived as sexual abuse. I personally have always found it weird in this counrty, that you can see a doucmentary on child abuse on one channel , then switch over and see another one on mothers letting their under age daughters, having their boyfrinds over to stay and sharing the same bed. As with the law for gay guys , I think Peter just wants to see the threat taken away. The sexual offences act was a good piece of law, but some parts were hurried through without much thought. Yes our children need protecting, but education will do much better all round than a law that threatens to distory a childs life as he/she grows in to adulthood. Too many laws in the counrty are blankets laws, weither it be driving offences of civil council law. They do not take in common sense or are made on the gut reaction by MPs who have little knowledge or are lacking the facts. As for Peter and the people that try to knock him. He has done no end of work for the gay community.After all how many voices are out there taking for us? Stonewall, right, and him. No one else. It easy for us to sit on our backside and berate, but the guy at least tries, and in many cases succeeds

  6. Pumpkin Pie 24 Sep 2009, 3:59pm

    I’d just like to point out that nobody was ever prosecuted under Section 28, either, but the effects of that law are plain to all.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with Tatchell (at least not in black and white terms – it is a very complex issue), just throwing that out there for your consideration.

  7. In response to Dave, this is a Childrens Rights issue not an LGBT rights issue. There is no evidence of any pressing need for this technicality to be cleared up off the statute book but if you want to argue there is, then let those groups who champion children’s rights do the running, surely? What’s it got to do with us?

    When did Peter Tatchell become a children’s rights spokesman? What I object to, is despite having done some good and made some useful contributions on behalf of the LGBT community he is un-elected and unaccountible. We can’t deselect him if he goes off on a personal tangent, as he has done here. Yet when lazy journalists want a soundbite from an LGBT perspective, they more often than not, run straight to Peter Tatchell and what he says is held to represent our views whether we agree or not. Peter shut up. You’ve gone way beyond any purported mandate you think you have to speak on our behalf.

  8. I used the LBGT law as an example. The fact that a law sitting on the books could be used if wanted as is the case of the childrens law. I course I agree with you re childrens rights. As for being unelectable and unaccoutable, does that mean that we cant even comment on this site let alone any where else, if we havent been elected!?!?! Peter has spoken out about many things, including the hateful goings on that have been carried out in Africa. And when it comes to being lazy , we are all guilty of that. We all sit in our arm chairs, becoming key board heros and we no longer hits the streets and protest on ANY issue. Peter does and he is a dying breed. Shamefully we are more concerned as a counrty on the price of our houses and if , we do comment will it upset the apple cart. All I read and see form the press is how we are failing children. Education has to be far better than any threat of a law, esp. if it is not working. Under age children giving birth to babies are on the rise, still. Of course we could all throw every one of them in prision, but Peter has an idea, good or bad , who knows, but what else is being offered. Do you have an idea, are you putting out there, and I include myself in this. I guess not!

  9. Trust a couple of jalous queers to shred a man to pieces for sticking up for us for many years. What a feeble thing a poor ego can be. Why does this country have a culture of putting people on a stand and just as they become known everyone is trying to break you again. just wondered

  10. Dave, I’m not putting out ideas about how to deal with it because there is no pressing need to deal with it. If there was, I might be active. By doing this he is diverting the agenda from more important issues that really do need sorting out. A good politician knows when to shut up as well as when to speak out.

    And arguing that he is no more accountible than someone on this message board is totally disingenous. People on this message board don’t ask the LGBT community to donate money to support them on the basis that he is campaigning for them and people on this messageboard aren’t sought out and quoted by the media as individual spokesmen for the LGBT community either.

    If Peter is looking for a hot-topic to keep his face in the papers, why stray into children’s rights when there are other relevant issues like lesbians with cervical cancer who were advised by the NHS that as lesbians they didn’t need smear tests. Since he seeks money from the LGBT community, why isn’t he fighting their battle rather than straying into the issue of children’s rights? Surely that’s more relevant to his brief?

  11. I don’t get why some readers are so het up about this. Peter Tatchell is a human rights activist and teenagers are humans too – it’s that simple. And to those of you complaining that Peter misrepresents us when he (supposedly) speaks on our behalf – why don’t you campaign for what you believe in too if he makes you that angry? Or is that too much like hard work?

  12. Charlie because on this issue he is doing more harm than good to the LGBT community. He comments will be misused by the right wing to bring up the old prejudice about links between gay rights and paedophilia and in the current political climate that is very dangerous. And on the issues concerned it’s completely unnecessary. Are you seriously arguing that this is really a burning human rights issue? Someone should tell Amnesty International they’re missing out on a biggy!

  13. Brian Burton 24 Sep 2009, 6:06pm

    No,no!

  14. I totally concur with Jen, Tatchell always was an interfering busybody, but now that gay rights issues in the UK have all but dried up, he has to find some other issue to have a rant about. Isn’t it about time he got himself a proper job?

  15. Simon Murphy 24 Sep 2009, 11:44pm

    Britain has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any developed country in the world despite an age of consent of 16. The Netherlands has one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates of developed nations – they have an age of consent of 14. They have far better sex education in schools starting from a the sensible age of about 9 ie before the children are sexually active.

    Britain needs to have better, earlier and more honest sex education. The age of consent of course should be lower as I don’t see any benefit in criminalising teenagers for their hormonal rushes. But better sex education is more important to tackle the rates of child parents.

  16. Pumpkin Pie 25 Sep 2009, 12:47am

    I agree with Simon. I’ve said something similar in a previous discussion, too. It’s not sex that is “evil”, but our society’s juvenile attitude to it. First-world countries that are more openly sexual than Britain, with more relaxed laws and attitudes to sexual matters, tend to have much lower rates of teen pregnancies and STDs than we do.

  17. Simon/Pumpkin: I don’t think it’s sex education per se that is the problem; it’s the Brits Victorian attitude to it. Papers like ‘The Sun’ typify it, whilst ripping apart someone like Bernie Ecclestone for having kinky sex parties on Page one, and decrying how our country is falling into a ‘cesspit of filth and degradation’, and then you flick over to page 3 to find some 18yo girl with her tits out. No wonder kids are so screwed up. I lived in Germany for 5 years, there most towns have at least one sex shop, next to the butchers, greengrocers and hardware store. Everyone sees it as just another shop. Here they are scorned at and treated as pariahs. As long as sex continues to be regarded as some unmentionable act done in private, youngsters will consider sex in the same vein as drugs and crime.

  18. Brian Burton 25 Sep 2009, 9:18am

    Peadophiles, They are the only ones who want young girls or Boys!

  19. Agree with RobN on this one. Sex education won’t stop the little darlings trying it because its “naughty” and “Forbidden”.

  20. The C*nt of Monte Crisco 25 Sep 2009, 9:41am

    Lower the age of consent?! LOWER?! More like raise it! And whilst you’re at it, raise the drinking age to 25 too! (although I like that most supermarkets have the “if you look under 25 you’ll be asked to prove you’re over 18″ thing)

  21. Julian Morrison 25 Sep 2009, 12:23pm

    Age of consent should be 13.

  22. Brian Burton 25 Sep 2009, 1:57pm

    Julian Morrison, Age of consent 13? A Peadophiles dream you Burk!

  23. For those who think the age of consent should be lowered, do you really think the gay community should be the ones pushing for it? I have noticed that everytime this issue comes up, it’s not teenagers themselves, but usually middle-aged men who are calling for the law to be changed. Suspicious as hell, don’t you think?

  24. How about this – ?
    One universal age of consent for all – 16 or 14, universal application should be the principle. Over the given age the only legal issue should be consent for both/all partners.
    Consensual sexual activity under the universal age of consent should not be illegal provided the age-gap is no greater than two years(maybe that is a bit generous), and the elder/est partner is under 16. The significance of a tight age gap is that maturation is fast during these years and it may help to avoid exploitation of a very child-like partner by a much more grown-up one. This, and consent, would be the legal consideration. Coercion and/or a bigger age gap would make the sex illegal, and nothing else.
    Two 12-year-olds playing about with each other voluntarily, for instance, should not be the concern of the law. This set-up would not be perfect, but would avoid a lot of the arbitrary and unfair criminalisation that the present system creates. As well as lifting the pressure of the threat of the criminal law from a lot of adolescents, of course, we also need a vast amount of sane and open sex-education to back it up.
    The huge of numbers of under-age girls getting pregnant with legal impunity(the authorities know that enforcement would be catastrophic) but with bad social consequences show clearly that both the present law and our sexual culture are a bad joke.

  25. i definitely agree with Jen – if anyone thinks the age of consent should be lowered, it should be the teenagers arguing for it, not middle-aged men. If that won’t get the nation voting Daily Mail nothing will.

  26. Pumpkin Pie 26 Sep 2009, 2:50am

    Simon/Pumpkin: I don’t think it’s sex education per se that is the problem; it’s the Brits Victorian attitude to it. Papers like ‘The Sun’ typify it, whilst ripping apart someone like Bernie Ecclestone for having kinky sex parties on Page one, and decrying how our country is falling into a ‘cesspit of filth and degradation’, and then you flick over to page 3 to find some 18yo girl with her tits out. No wonder kids are so screwed up. I lived in Germany for 5 years, there most towns have at least one sex shop, next to the butchers, greengrocers and hardware store. Everyone sees it as just another shop. Here they are scorned at and treated as pariahs. As long as sex continues to be regarded as some unmentionable act done in private, youngsters will consider sex in the same vein as drugs and crime.

    Actually, that is pretty much what I was talking about in my post, so I totally agree. Britain needs to be less prudish, nannyish and moralising.

  27. I agree the age of consent is fine as it is in the UK

    However in Spain the age of consent was 12 untill about 1998/1999 when it was raised to 13 . . . I not aware that Spain has a bigger problem with Pedaephila then any other European City

  28. JohnK et al: The law is not there specifically to stop kids having sex, it is there in case, under certain circumstances, it can be called upon. The police have better things to do than to stop kids shagging, (and it would be almost impossible to enforce), but it does act as a deterrent for paedophiles and can be used alongside other charges to reinforce a case.

  29. The age of 16 is fine, younger kids can’t deal with the responsibility of an adult releationship, their emotions and even the basics in some cases – like contraception
    If anything the age of consent should be higher

    And sex education should actually teach about sex
    pretty much all i learned was body part names
    Well im 20 now and i know what a vagina is, how does that help a gay man?!

  30. Yes . . . . I am sure you are absolutely right RobN . . . but if only life was that simple.

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