Is Peter Tatchell a Good Gay Spokesperson ?

It is just a question……….

I’m not gay myself but if I were I would be upset that Peter Tatchell had written an article today about lowering the legal age of consent to 14 years, thus making it look like gay men are potential child abusers.

Here is the article:

Law professor John Spencer of Cambridge University has created a huge controversy by suggesting a reduction in the current age of consent of 16. His proposals, broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Iconoclasts programme, with my support as a co-advocate, have been savaged by the Sun and the Daily Mail. Much of the criticism has been sensationalist and has misrepresented the case for a lower age of consent.

Like Spencer, I believe the time has come for a calm, rational reassessment of the age at which young people should be lawfully entitled to have sex. We need this debate because the current age of consent of 16 ignores reality.

Whether we like it or not, underage young people are having sex with each other. More than half of all teenagers have their first sexual experience by the age of 14, according to the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. All these sexually active young teens are branded by the law as criminals and sex offenders, lumped together with paedophiles. How can this be right?

Full Article - Guardian

The law, as it currently is, is actually very flexible. Very few young teenagers are tried for under age sex. Only mature adults who have sex with children under 16 years are prosecuted.

So why does Peter Tatchell want the law changed, isn’t sexual equality enough ?

Elsewhere, Tatchell has said:

The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.

Wikipedia

This ‘philosophy’ is very similar to the views of convicted paedophile Peter Righton and other members of PIE who felt that only ‘harmful’ sex with childrens should be criminalised. They thought that adults should be allowed to have sex with 4 year olds.

I do not believe that gay people are paedophiles and if I were gay I’d be very angry that Tatchell had such a lead role as a spokesperson for the gay community.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Is Peter Tatchell a Good Gay Spokesperson ?

  1. Old China

    Loudoun Trust (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/25/ignorance-harming-efforts-tackle-paedophilia) is to educate about “paedo-sexual offending”, as distinct from harmless paedophilia.

  2. James

    Peter Tatchell has never advocated adults having sex with children. He does not support this. He says adults should NOT have sex with children. He has never advocated the abolition of ages of consent. He has said that if young people of similar ages have sex below the age of 16 they should not be prosecuted, providing they both consent and there is no coercion, manipulation or exploitation.

    • Hi James,

      People below 16 of similar ages are never prosecuted now anyway. The fact of the matter is that lowering the age of consent to 14 will have only one meaningful effect and that is to allow mature adults to go unprosecuted if they have sex with a 14 year old.

      Surely you can see that ?

      I don’t want to see homosexuality and paedophilia conflated. I don’t believe it is justified and it muddies the water. If I were gay I’d be upset that Tatchell has decided to raise this issue right now. That is the point of this post.

      Peter Tatchell may never have advocated sex with children, as you have said but the quote above comes pretty close to a defence of it IMHO.

      That said, it is always nice to have an alternative viewpoint. Thankyou for your post.

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