February 26, 2008
Waking up on the wrong side (II)
Posted by: Chris
I've written before on occasion about those days when I wake up and see gay activists so wrong-headed that I feel like they're putting us on "the wrong side" of the Culture Wars.
That's how I felt when the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders tried to use a public accomodations law to force an Irish gay group into Boston St. Patrick's Day parade or when Lambda Legal tried to force the Boy Scouts to change their membership rules. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked both those attempts.
It's how I felt when a gay bar in Melbourne tried to exclude heterosexuals, and a gay men's bar in Montreal tried to exclude women. And it's how I felt when a lesbian sued eHarmony to force a matchmaking and a lesbian couple sued a Methodist church in New Jersey to force it into accepting their wedding on its property.
But none of that compares to the anger and disbelief I felt when I read yesterday about how gay groups in Canada are trying to block an effort to raise the age of consent there from 14. Here's how Xtra, the Canadian gay paper, reported it:
The proposed changes will have a disproportionate impact on gays, said Richard Hudler of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario.
"My first lover was 17 years older than me. And this is common [among gay people]," he said. "It is dangerous — considering the attitude toward sexual orientation in schools — for a young person to attempt to make sexual contact with a peer."
Hudler looks like he's right out of central casting for the creepy older homosexual angry that our access to 14 and 15 year-olds might be limited if age of consent laws are changed. Not only is it ridiculous to suggest that first gay relationships are more often with much older partners, it obviously plays right into offensive stereotypes about predatory gay men.
Age of consent laws are arbitrary by nature and cannot take into account the differences in maturity levels among individual teens, and Canadian activists are right to challenge the higher age of consent for anal sex (18). But the idea behind such laws is clear and laudatory: setting an age at which youth should be protected from the risks to their physical and psychological health that come from sexual relationships.
Yes some teens can handle sex well, but many cannot and gay activists ought to be on the side of protecting youth as much as possible -- giving them the "safe space" to figure out who the are before actual sex comes into play. To see creepy activists like Hudler advocating their exploitation by their elders is, well, disgusting.
(Photo by Brent Creelman via Xtra.ca)
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