Letter: Right to be gay

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Michael Bell does not seem to see that equal rights are not a possession of the public or the House of Lords to confer or withhold, but are part of natural justice itself.

The first votes for women were reluctantly accorded only to the over- 30s, against all sort of specious claims that young women matured later than men or would be politically irresponsible.

Now we hear the same sort of wild generalisations - that a consenting 16- to 18-year-old man is less competent and more vulnerable in a same- sex sexual relationship than any woman of the same age. This, too, is blatant bigotry and sexism.

The issue is not what people may do with their maturing political or sexual drives. They may vote for governments which I do not like or choose erotic technique which might repel me. But if they do not threaten my own freedom I have no right to control or threaten theirs.

EDWARD TURNBULL

Gosforth, Northumberland

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