Hong Kong lowers gay age of consent

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The Hong Kong government has agreed to lower the gay age of consent from 21 to 16.

It comes after three judges at the Court of Appeal unanimously agreed last month that laws allowing a higher age of consent for homosexuals than for heterosexuals and lesbians were discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The Security Bureau said it would not seek to reverse the court’s decision, Agence France Presse reports. The statement said: “After considering all the relevant factors, the government decided not to appeal the judicial review.

The case had been brought to the Court of Appeal by the government in protest to an original landmark ruling that allowed homosexual sex under the age of 21.

This original case was brought against the government by 21 year old homosexual Billy Leung, who was absent from the Court of Appeal verdict. Leungs lawyer Michael Vidler said ”It’s good news for equal rights in Hong Kong,”

Hong Kong decriminalised homosexuality in 1991 and the government has been widely criticised for appealing against the original ruling.