Submissions to a Queensland parliamentary committee examining a bill addressing the state’s unequal age of consent laws close in less than a week.
The Queensland government last month introduced the bill that would amend the state’s Criminal Code to bring the age of consent for anal intercourse – currently 18 – into line with the age of consent for vaginal intercourse, 16 years of age. The bill would also remove the term “sodomy” from the legislation.
“Queensland cannot continue to discriminate between forms of sexual intercourse, particularly when we know young people felt compelled to withhold information about their sexual history from health practitioners for fear of possible legal consequences for themselves or their partner,” Health Minister Cameron Dick (pictured) told parliament last month.
The parliamentary committee is accepting written submissions relating to the bill via email until 4pm on Friday July 22. For instructions, click here.
Dr Wendell Rosevear from Brisbane’s Stonewall Medical Centre wrote in his submission to the committee that “to legislate for the equal age of consent for sexual activity reflects the equal value of all people.”
“It would help in HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention education if all people above the age of 16 could have access to knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV through anal sex,” he said.
“It is vital that sexually active people above the age of 16 can talk freely to their doctors without feeling that they are breaking the law through their activity.”