The Christian Institute

News Release

The age of consent is not over yet: Christians urge Lords to protect girls

In the run-up to the final House of Lords debate on the age of consent, The Christian Institute has brought out a report which highlights the dangers to girls and boys from the Government’s Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill. Under the Bill, the age at which a man can commit buggery on a girl is lowered from 18 to 16.

Colin Hart, Director of the Institute said today

“The Government is removing a key protection from girls because of a gay rights measure. There is no pressure group calling for the right to commit buggery on 16 year old girls. Under the Bill on the dubious grounds of ‘equality’ between heterosexuals and homosexuals, men will be able to commit anal intercourse on 16 and 17 year old girls.

Our report shows that anal intercourse is extremely dangerous from a medical point of view. It carries an HIV risk which is 2,700 times that of vaginal intercourse.

We call on peers to support amendments by Lady Young which keep the age at which buggery can be committed at 18 for both boys and girls. This is such a dangerous activity that the existing protection for young people should be maintained.

The amendment would not interfere with the Government’s intention to permit homosexual acts (other than buggery) at 16. It therefore removes any justification for the Government to invoke the Parliament Acts.

The report also points out the many loopholes in the Government’s new abuse of trust offence which is also contained in the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill. The new offence would not have protected children who were victims in the North Wales child abuse scandal. We call on peers to support amendments which substantially strengthen the abuse of trust offence by covering many more situations where adults in a position of trust could abuse young people in their care.”