Last edited: December 17, 2004

Guernsey Votes On Gay Sex Age

Homosexuality Has Only Be Legal In Guernsey For The Last 15 Years

BBC OnLine News, January 28, 1999

UK Politics

Politicians in the Channel Island of Guernsey are expected to decide on Thursday whether to lower the age of consent for homosexuals. They are discussing controversial proposals put forward by Conseiller Carol Steere, which would see the age reduced from 21 to 16.

Campaigners from the protest group, Courage, fear they may adopt a compromise and lower the limit to just 18.

Homosexual acts were only legalised on the island 15 years ago.

Presenting her bill, Conseiller Steere told other members that the matter is one of equality and freedom.

But most members oppose the idea. Deputy Gerald Poat told the House that passing the bill would amount to legalising sodomy.

By coincidence, the vote in Guernsey comes only days after MPs at Westminster voted to drop the age of homosexual consent from 18 to 16.

The change in the law will put the UK on an equal footing with the rest of Europe.

But despite the backing from MPs equalising the age of consent is likely to face fierce resistance in the House of Lords.

British peers threw out similar proposals last summer and may do so again.

This time, however, the government has promised to use the Parliament Act to force the change through.

--Internet Links
Gay rights group

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