Letter: Gay Age Of Consent

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The Independent Online
JOHN LYTTLE accuses me of advocating an age of consent of 12 ("I'm out with the in crowd", 30 April). This is not true. I have consistently argued for consent at 14 for everyone, gay and straight.

Nearly half of all teenagers have their first sexual experience before the age of 16, most after the age of 14. For this reason, 14 seems a fairer and more realistic age of consent. My motive is to reduce the criminalisation of young people involved in consenting sex, and remove the legal obstacles to more explicit and effective sex education in schools.

Twelve European countries now have an age of consent of 14, or lower. Sexual rights are human rights, and human rights should not be restricted to those aged 16 and over.

PETER TATCHELL

OutRage!

London W1

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