Jersey Politicians vote to reduce gay age of consent

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Politicians on the island of Jersey have voted for a new sexual offences law that will reduce the age of consent for gay sex to 16.

Deputies in the States Assembly voted by 38 votes to 11 to approve the new law that also includes a new offence of grooming a child and abusing a position of trust.

Deputies will now debate an amendment that seeks to strengthen laws relating to the abuse of trust.

Last year, Luke Small, a sixteen year old from St Brelade lodged a case against the government of Jersey at the European Court of Human Rights.

European states are required under the European Convention on Human Rights to end discrimination based on sexuality.

Mr Small said: “Differentiating two categories of people is educating young people that being gay is somehow kind of dangerous and wrong.”

A report delivered previously 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 claimed, is in breech of Jersey’s obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights.