Letter: How fear and ignorance cloud the debate about the age of consent

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was moved by the teenage boy Euan Sutherland's statement in your feature 'Face to face in the homosexual debate' (20 January) that: 'There's no way anyone can say wanting to love someone is a criminal offence'.

Just as warmly, the national director of Mind defends the 'disenfranchised' in her letter (21 January) saying, 'It's hard to feel anything but alienated from society if society tells you your feelings are illegal.'

However, the issue is not so simple. Might not a paedophile hold exactly such views with as much sincerity, or someone involved in an incestuous affair, or, for that matter, an early-developed 11- or 12-year-old? We should not forget that human beings are capable of loving each other intensely at any age, and in all kinds of relationships, regardless of arbitrary limits set by society. So why tell anyone they are doing wrong?

Yours sincerely,

ALISON HOBBS

Old Cwmbran, Gwent

21 January

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