Queensland, a state in Australia, changed the legal age of consent for anal sex last week.
If this sounds weird, it's because it is. Queensland was updating an old, homophobic law. The legal age of consent for other types of sex was 16 years old, but it was 18 for anal. Of course, both heterosexual and homosexual couples can have anal sex, but it's generally more prevalent among the gay community.
The law also took out use of the term "sodomy" and replaced it with "anal intercourse," which helps remove homophobic stigmas.
This law was more than just outdated silliness. It also presented health barriers for young people, who may not have sought appropriate health care for fear of being prosecuted. Now, that barrier is down.
George Christensen, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, was not as understanding about this law.
He said it was "legalizing 50-year-old men being able to sleep with 16-year-old boys." Christensen said,
[W]e do know there are older men, pedophiles, who are attracted to younger men in particular.
Beliefs like this are based on damaging, homophobic myths. Christensen also completely discredited the idea older men could target younger women, which, OK.
Peter Roberts, 71-year-old father of Dale, who is openly gay, was having none of Christensen's homophobic bullshit. Roberts posted a comment on Christensen's Facebook, using his wife's account. His son tweeted the post, which is now going viral:
My dad is a Nats supporter in Dawson - last night he wrote this on George Christensen's page #marriageequality pic.twitter.com/IVsYNnG9Ni — Dale Roberts (@ozdale) September 17, 2016
The older Roberts wrote Christensen had bought him a beer since he was a veteran who had done two tours of Vietnam. But, Roberts wrote,
If you did it now I would tip the bloody thing over your head. The typical homophobic, they must be paedophiles. So it is alright for old men like me to try and find a younger women but not a gay man? I have a GAY SON who I am so proud of what he has achieved in his life.
Roberts went on to say his son deserves the same rights to marriage and adoption -- "and not have clowns like you who live in the past helping to run this country and make decision for us and him."
Christensen replied, continuing to insist that lowering the age of consent legalized predatory behavior (as if having 16 as the age of consent for other types of sex doesn't present the same issues for teen boys and girls).
Roberts responded, saying he was not going to continue the discussion.
@StevenGarner12 @mikeyjj Yeah George replied back to dad's comment on Facey and dad responded back. All done and dusted. pic.twitter.com/6C6anforgZ — Dale Roberts (@ozdale) September 20, 2016
Rest assured I am not a violent man and I do not like wasting beer.