Friday, February 24, 2006

A letter to the Guernsey Press

This is the first draft of a letter that I intended sending to my local paper. I did not send it in the end. For an explanation of why click here:

There has been a glut of coverage in the Press recently regarding the issue of the homosexual age of consent. It appears that many correspondents are at best missing the point and at worst, being plain offensive. For me, however, this debate has highlighted three important points:

1. Religion. Once again an important issue has been clouded by an intolerant and bigoted minority. A number of your correspondents have resorted to quoting passages from the bible, namely the section of the book of Leviticus, which deals with “unnatural” acts. However, these people appear to be cherry picking only those passages that fit in with their personal view of how things should be, and it is interesting to note how few of them mention other parts of Leviticus in their correspondence. Perhaps it is because that, like much of what is in the bible, when you actually come out and say it, it sounds ridiculous. For instance, Leviticus also suggests that a woman should be confined to her home for the duration of her period each month. Do your correspondents seriously suggest that this is a reasonable course of action? If not, they should stop quoting Leviticus.
Everyone, of course, has the unassailable right to express their views, but it is beyond me why your Christian correspondents should think that their religious views have any relevance to this debate. It is my understanding that the Church and the State were separated a long time ago and that is exactly as it should be.

2. Criminalisation. By criminalising an activity you are encouraging furtiveness and secrecy for fear of reprisal. Far from protecting young teenagers, it puts them more at risk of exploitation because they will not have the support of unknowing family and friends. Let’s face it, in the unforgiving society we live in, it must be hard enough for a young gay teenager to be faced with the unfair stigma attached to their sexual preferences without being branded a criminal for engaging in what comes naturally, especially when their heterosexual peers are perfectly within the law to do the same. This brings me to my most important point.

3. Equality. We supposedly live in a democratic society where each individual regardless of race, sex or political leanings have the same rights and privileges as everyone else. By that same token, all laws should apply equally to each individual. The discrepancy between the ages of consent of homosexuals and heterosexuals is in direct violation of this simple premise; the States are virtually saying that one section of the community is not equal to another.

I do not really care whether the age of consent for homosexuals is lowered or not, but one thing I am sure of is that it should be the same as the age of consent for heterosexuals. The choice, therefore, is simple. Either lower the homosexual age of consent to 16, or raise the age of consent of heterosexuals to 18. The situation as it stands is unacceptable.


Blogger PostPunkUnkle said...

I think you should send it. If you don't want to annoy your freinds, send it on the condition that it will be published Name and address witheld."

The local rag should honour this - ask the ed if you're not sure.

Godd Luck Bro.

10:33 am  
Blogger Goatboy said...

Thats what my wife said, however, I have always held that if you have something to say you should have the balls to put your name to it.
I have recently rewritten the letter, taking out most of the contentious anti-religious rant, concentrating instead on the central issue of equality. My wife has given it the thumbs up so I will send it in with my name attached and honour will be satisfied. Stu

12:29 pm  
Blogger PostPunkUnkle said...

Aye, but you wouldn't be anonymous becauseof a deficiency in the balls dept. Only to protect your freindship. According to your letter the anti-religious rant is the important bit. Aren't you reacting to the pro-religious rant of the paper's other correspondents?

7:01 am  
Blogger Goatboy said...

True, but I think I can get my point accross without being scathing. One of my main reasons for writing the letter (I'm ashamesd to say) is to provoke a response from certain members of my family, one particular uncle and cousinf in fact, who happen to be annoyingly blinkered christians who don't seem to ever think of anything else. Once the letter is published, I know that I will enjoy plenty of heated debates with them during which the finer points of my first draft are sure to be made, with a few fucking expletives mixed in as well. Until then I am quite happy to leave out the anti religious rant, especially as one of my main beefs with the issue is that religious talk has no place at the debating table. I'll post a copy of the new draft soon.

7:44 am  

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