Thursday 8 May 2003

Statement on Age of Consent

The proposal of the New South Wales Government to lower the age of consent for homosexual activity from 18 years to 16 years is regrettable. Parliament should not enshrine the ideological claim that homosexual and heterosexual activity are morally equivalent. It sounds a wrong note and makes the task of parents more difficult.

The legislation must ensure that predatory behaviour by older adults, whether homosexual or heterosexual, towards sixteen and seventeen year olds is effectively prohibited and penalised.

Parliament should also consider raising the age of consent for all parties to 18 years of age.

The proposed legislation should be scrutinized carefully, and politicians should be encouraged to use their conscience vote wisely.

+ George Pell                                                                                                 
Archbishop of Sydney 

For more information, contact:
Marita Franklin
Director, Catholic Communications
Level 16, 133 Liverpool St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9390 5300
Mob: 0419 243 957

- received by CathNews 8/5/03