Jersey to reduce age of gay consent to 16

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A report delivered this morning by the Corporate Services Panel says there is “no alternative” to lowering the age of consent for homosexual consent.

The Island’s laws currently set the age of consent at 18 for homosexual couples, and 16 for heterosexual couples. This, the report claims, is in breech of Jersey’s obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights.

State Members were told by the Panel chairperson, Pat Ryan, that the report’s findings needed to be taken seriously, and approved into law. Home Affairs minister Wendy Kinnard hoped that changes could wait until the “abuse of trust” legislation comes into place, which will protect young people from being taken advantage of by older adults.

Similar moves have been made by the government of the Isle of Man, which, like Jersey is a Crown Dependency of Britain. It is independent and can create its own law.

The date for the debate is set for April 25th.

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