Sark will equalise age of consent for gay menBy Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk - July 8, 2010
Sark, in the Channel Isles, is to equalise the age of consent for gay men. The island is following advice that the current age, 21, breaks international human rights laws.
According to BBC News, Richard McMahon, HM Comptroller, said the current law could lead someone to "claim a violation of his rights". Legislation has not yet been drawn up to change the law.
In March, Guernsey politicians agreed to equalise laws around the age of consent, bringing the age for gay men down to 16, in line with the law for heterosexuals and lesbians.http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/07/08/sark-will-equalise-age-of-consent-for-gay-men/
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________UK will tell Gibraltar age of consent difference 'breaches international law'By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk - June 11, 2010
The UK is to tell Gibraltar its unequal age of consent for gay and straight people breaches international law. The territory currently allows lesbians and heterosexuals to have sex at 16, but the age of consent for gay men is 18. Anal sex is illegal between men and women.
According to the Gibraltar Chronicle, David Lidington, Minister of State for Europe and NATO at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, said the British government would make an intervention over the issue.
In a written response to a parliamentary question in the House of Commons, he explained: “The UK intervention will set out the international legal arguments that the distinction in the age of consent – and other discriminatory provisions relating to sexual offences – are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The British government takes seriously its obligations under the ECHR which also extend to the overseas territories. We are committed to working with overseas territories governments to ensure we meet these obligations.”
The Gibraltar government has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether the difference breaches the constitutional rights of gay men. Britain could amend the territory's laws for it if the territory does not take the step itself. The Gibraltar government's arguments against lowering the age of consent for gay men were published in February. It argues that the matter can be justified on health and religious grounds.
Documents said: “Religious faith plays an important role in our community and is also an important part of its social cohesion which would be undermined.” On health, they added: "widening the range of sexual practices which can be committed with young people puts even more pressure on them to be sexually active and there is no doubt that anal sex carries greater health risks than heterosexual intercourse.”
The government also argues that it is heterosexuals being discriminated against, rather than gay men, as straight couples are completely banned from having anal sex.http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/06/11/uk-will-tell-gibraltar-age-of-consent-difference-breaches-international-law/