Egale may be playing catch-up, but the leading groups within the queer community have taken a stand on the age of consent.
For example, the path-paving Coalition For Lesbian And Gay Rights in Ontario, submitted the following to the justice committee reviewing Bill C-2 last April:
“We believe that Bill C-2’s defining of teenagers as children to be protected from sex is part of the anti-sex backlash orchestrated by a powerful segment of Canadian society. An integral part of that backlash is expanding the options for outlawing consenting same-sex relationships, which they see as immoral, abnormal and destructive. In reality, the amendments proposed in Bill C-2 will neither protect young persons from abuse nor help them deal with consensual sex as part – we hope a pleasant part – of their lives.”
Also, the Toronto-based Sex Laws Committee submitted a presentation to the parliamentary committee. Among their points:
“There still persists a wide-spread and erroneous belief that older, predatory persons lure young people into homosexuality, and this belief is founded on the idea that homosexuality is a result of a deliberate seduction. Moreover, it radically denies the fact that young persons themselves have a capacity for, exhibit and seek out sexual experiences, with persons of their own gender, or across genders, or both. The danger presented by [Bill C-2] is that any same-sex consensual relationship involving a person over the age of 18 years and a person who is under the age of 18 but over the age of 14 will be deemed exploitative. There is a plausible risk, under this new amendment, that the older person will always be presumed to be exploiting the younger person and ‘luring’ them into a homosexual lifestyle.”
For full text of the Sex Laws Committee presentation click here.