As we speak, Queensland is the only state in Australia where the age of consent is not the same for different kinds of sex.
The age of consent for vaginal sex is 16, where as the age of consent for anal sex is 18 (and is still referred to as sodomy under the Criminal Code). In all other states, the age of consent is the same for both kinds of penetrative sex.
This discriminatory law has obviously put unnecessary pressure on young gay men, who have been unable to seek advice or information about safe sexual practices for decades.
Today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government announced that they will be introducing legislation to standardise the age of consent – finally!
Health Minister Cameron Dick said that it was the government’s only option, after listening to advice from an expert panel:
“By making this change, we are addressing the disparity between the age of consent for penetrative sex, which has resulted in adverse consequences for young people in this state.
It is clear that inconsistent age of consent laws act as a barrier to young people accessing safe sexual health information. It is time that Queensland modernised its framework.”
The state government will also release a draft of it’s new sexual health strategy, which will hopefully provide better information regarding sexual health and contraceptive options, and aims to improve sexual health services.
This is first time Queensland has attempted to change laws around consensual sex since 1990 – when it overturned homosexuality as a criminal offence. How insane is that?
The legislation will head into Parliament on Wednesday, so let’s all wave goodbye to a super discriminatory law!
Photo: Glenn Hunt / Getty.