Date: March 2001
Equality in gay relationships is an ongoing issue for all of us and one of the most out of whack issues is the age of consent for same sex relationships versus heterosexual relationships. Did you know that in many countries of the world the age of consent for gay relationships is up to five years older than male / female relationships? At first you might think that this doesn't relate to you or your life, well think again my friend.
Think of it this way, if you are 17 and your boyfriend is 18 and in your country or state the legal age of consent for same sex relationships is 18, your boyfriend is committing statutory rape by sleeping with you. Even if you are about to turn 18 it doesn't count, the law is there not to protect you but to discriminate against your right to the same equality that say an 18 year old guy gets by sleeping with his 17 year old girlfriend.
There are many reasons why the age of consent is not equal for homosexuality and heterosexuality, one of the main arguments against lowering the age of consent is to protect younger guys from predatory older men. Now personally I have a problem with a way older guy who sleeps with a young teenager. It doesn't seem right and I can understand the issues surrounding this. But the same argument can be equally applied to older men who prey on younger girls, say a guy in his forties sleeping with a 16 or 16 year old girl. According to the law that is perfectly legal, even if the morals are questionable, so that argument is total rubbish.
The next argument people use is that young guys don't know their own minds and can't possibly decide whether they are gay at a young age. Now again this is total rubbish, if a guy can sleep with a girl at age 14 and can know they are straight, why can't a guy know that he is gay? From my own personal experience I knew that I was gay from an early age, there was no question of my sexuality - however I did choose to hide it form most people till I was ready to tell them. But to suggest that if I am gay that therefore I can't understand my own feelings or know my sexuality is simply insulting.
The truth of the matter is quite simple in many conservative countries, and that is that the governments don't believe that being gay is not a choice, they often believe that being gay is a choice and that if you encourage it at a young age then boys and girls can be turned gay. Now if that isn't a load of crap I don't know what is.
There is more to the issue of course and it isn't just black and white, however Equality for same sex relationships on the age of consent issue is very important.
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