The Queensland Government has reduced the legal age of consent for anal sex from 18 to 16.
The Queensland Government has reduced the legal age of consent for anal sex from 18 to 16. Renee Pilcher

Anal sex age of consent drops in Queensland

QUEENSLAND has standardised the age of consent for all sex acts to 16 years old.  

The State Parliament on Thursday evening voted to reduce the legal age of consent for anal sex from 18 to 16.

The word sodomy will also be replaced with "anal intercourse" in the state's Criminal Code to help reduce stigma around gay and bisexual men.

Under the old laws, people under 18 who admitted to having anal intercourse risked being reported to police.

The fear of criminal charges often meant young people would not seek out health services and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The rule change brings the state in line with other Australian jurisdictions.

Queensland AIDS Council executive director Michael Scott said changing the age of consent removed any "barriers" for young people seeking health treatment.

"An unequal age of consent has been a barrier to equal access to healthcare," he said.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the change, recommended by a panel of health experts, was long overdue.

"The expert panel considered that the current laws may lead to people feeling compelled to withhold information about their sexual history from health practitioners," Mr Dick said.

"This may be because they fear possible legal consequences for themselves or their partner.

"Withholding this information could have serious implications for a young person's medical treatment, particularly as unprotected anal intercourse is the highest-risk behaviour for transmission of HIV."

- ARM NEWSDESK


Man yells at magistrate, storms out of Gatton court

Premium Content Man yells at magistrate, storms out of Gatton court

A Lockyer Valley man has yelled at a magistrate in Gatton Court today then stormed...

AMAZING DEAL: Read it all for $3 a week for first 12 weeks

Premium Content AMAZING DEAL: Read it all for $3 a week for first 12 weeks

You get access to local and regional news and the Courier Mail