Will this Australian state finally catch up and equalise its age of consent?
The Australian state of Queensland may finally catch up with all other states, and equalise the age of consent for anal sex after being accused of discrimination.
The state is currently the only one to have a different age of consent for anal sex – 18, compared to 16 for most other forms of consensual sex.
The state was accused of discrimination by the Brisbane Pride Festival for maintaining the unequal age of consent.
Other states changed this years ago, with New South Wales having altered its laws in 2003.
“Equalising the age of consent is another reform that should be able to be done without the need for it to be referred to committees and the like,” Peter Black, president of the festival, told the Star Observer earlier this year.
“Queensland is the only state in Australia that does not have an equal age of consent and I would hope that the new [Labor] government would fix this inequality.”
In addition to the age of consent, the government in Queensland is also considering expunging its historic gay sex offences dating back to before 1989, when homosexuality was decriminalised.
According to reports, Yvette D’Ath, the attorney general in Queensland, has appointed an expert committee, in order to review the age of consent.
“The government is aware of the concerns of the LGBTI community in relation to this discrepancy and in particular their claim that it is discriminatory and a barrier to young people accessing safe sex information,” she said.
“At the same time the government recognises there are strong, conflicting views held by Queenslanders about this issue.”