Toronto
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Sources says feds prepared to screw gay sex

Age of consent issues remain murky

The move to raise the age of consent for straight sex won’t automatically include equal treatment for gay sex, according to the feds.



The federal government’s dialogue on raising the hetero age of consent, likely to 16, doesn’t include discussions on lowering the age for anal intercourse to the same level.



The disparity isn’t even a consideration, according to sources in Ottawa.



Such an equalization “does not, in any way, reflect government policy,” says federal lawyer Bernard Starkman, who has been working on Justice Canada’s study of child victims of crime.



Starkman notes that the entire debate has arisen in the first place from concerns about child exploitation, the subject of a federal government discussion paper published late last year.



“The only statement that is valid is that the government has asked whether the general age of consent should be raised.”



It’s 14 for oral and vaginal sex; 18 for anal.



The disparity has been ruled unconstitutional by the courts. But arrests and prosecutions continue. That will likely not change without changing the Criminal Code itself.



The decision to institutionalize discrimination flies in the face of what British Columbia politicians have said about the age of consent debate.



The big push for upping the age of consent comes from Ujjal Dosanjh, first the attorney-general and now the New Democratic premier of British Columbia.



His proposal to raise the age of consent to 16 received the unanimous consent of every Canadian justice minister, including Ottawa’s Anne McLellan, at a conference late last year.



At the time Dosanjh said the inequality on anal sex was an issue that was going to be considered.



Out Vancouver-Burrard MLA Tim Stevenson, Dosanjh’s close friend and key advisor on gay issues, insists that addressing the inequality is a foregone conclusion.



The anal sex consent law was set at 18 in the late 1960s at the time that homosexual acts between two consenting adults were legalized in Canada. The stated aim was to protect teenage boys from paedophiles.