A bill to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 will give the state more power to police the private sexual lives of Canadians, say briefs prepared for the justice committee by three gay groups. And sex education in public schools could be the next target social conservatives pick, using the age of consent legislation as a weapon, argues the Age Of Consent Committee.
Each organization — The Sex Laws Committee, the Age Of Consent Committee and Coalition For Lesbian And Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO) — submitted its own brief, dealing with matters ranging from the social isolation of queer youth to the stigma of intergeneration sex.
The bill criminalizes only consensual, non-exploitive sex since exploitive and non-consensual sex is already illegal, and will be used by parents and police to harass gay people, the CLGRO brief states.
According to the CLGRO brief:
“Parents are often more unhappy about their children having sex with someone of the same sex than with someone of the opposite sex, and are far more likely to call the police. The police are often more lenient and inclined to view sex as merely ‘sowing wild oats’ or ‘natural and healthy exploration’ when it involves opposite-sex persons, and more vigorous in laying charges and inclined to see a sexual relationship as ‘corrupting morals’ when it involves persons of the same sex.”
The full text of the briefs is available on Xtra.ca’s age of consent page, under “links and resources.”