**UPDATE: QLD Labor Conference held on the weekend of the 29th-30th of August has passed all LGBTI motions, including the funding of the Queensland AIDS Council unanimously.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has announced a commitment to investigating lowering the age of consent for anal sex to 16, bringing it into line with the rest of Australia.
Ms D’Ath also announced the government’s intention to review out-dated and homophobic laws such as the ‘gay panic’ defence.
The age of consent for anal sex in every state and territory in Australia is 16 with the exception of Queensland, where the age of consent is 18.
This discrepancy is widely considered to be a leftover from the ‘unlawful sodomy’ laws, which effectively outlawed homosexuality in the state until 1990.
Ms D’Ath said that the Labor Government is dedicated to addressing the inequalities faced by the LGBTIQ community in Queensland.
“I can advise the chair and the members of the committee in brief that they related to addressing the gay panic defence, considering making age of consent more or less uniform and considering the expunging of historical gay sex convictions,” she said.
“We have committed to establishing an expert committee, including health experts, to consider the implications of making the age of consent laws consistent in Queensland.”
Shadow Attorney-General, Ian Walker said that while the reviews has merit, the Palaszczuk government needs to focus on more pressing issues.
“This is one of around 60 reviews being carried out by the Palaszczuk Government,” he said.
“While Labor carries on reviewing, they’re failing to create jobs or deliver infrastructure and our vibrant state is grinding to a halt”.
The Palaszczuk government is also looking into reversing changes made to the Relationships Act 2011 by the Newman government, which removed “marriage mimicking” components of the legislation.