Queensland became the last Australian state to introduce equal age of consent laws for anal sex on Thursday night.
Two members of the Queensland parliament voted against the change: Shane Knuth (left), and Robbie Katter, both of Katter's Australian Party.
I rang Knuth to ask him why. Here's what he said.
Me: Why did yourself and Robbie Katter vote against the equal age of consent laws?
Knuth: We’ve always been very consistent in, you know, our position, when it comes to, you know, same-sex marriage, or, or… what’s the other one? Same-sex marriage. Civil unions! And, you know, we just feel that, you know, we’d be hypocritical to support the removal of aged consent for anal sex.
Why do you think the age of consent for anal sex is like same-sex marriage?
Basically, we just do not support that position. We have constantly said a relationship should be between a male and a female, a man and a woman. We have taken a very strong position on that in the past.
Sure. So do you think that anal sex between men at any age should be criminalised?
I’m not commenting on that, but just that we, you know, believe a relationship should be between a man and a woman. We’ve always stood our ground on this. And we also moved the amendment in the house back three years ago, that relationships should be between a man and a woman.
I guess what I’m, what I'm trying to understand here is why specifically you think the age of consent should not be equal to the heterosexual age of consent, if you don’t think it should be criminalised the whole way through. I'm just trying to understand that position.
We just don’t believe in it full stop. Whether it’s 16, 20, 18, we don’t believe it in full stop.
Taking that point, if you think it is always wrong, then do you think it should not be legal at all?
Well, we voted against it. Our position was pretty clear.
So your position is anal sex should be criminalised for any age?
No, what I’m saying is, our position was it should not have been reduced to 16 years old.
Yep, and, sorry, what I’m trying to figure out is if your position for it not being reduced is based on a general opposition to a relationship between two men, does that extend to thinking sex between two men in a relationship should always be a criminal offence?
No, I’m not indicating that. But I believe that it’s getting a bit cagey to reduce that age down, will they want to bring it down to 14, or 12, later on?
OK. Are you worried about the age of consent for heterosexual sex also being lowered?
We do have concerns. We have concerns with that, yes. Obviously our concerns and our position was that we don’t approve of it.
OK. Mr Knuth, I was also wondering, what you do think the consequences of equalising the age of consent will be in Queensland?
What do I think of the consequences?
Only time will tell with that. But I think that it would probably give more of a possible predatory approach to the younger generation.
Do you think that same-sex attracted men are more likely to be predatory than heterosexual men? Is that the basis of that concern?
No, I’m just… We don’t support anal sex full stop. And the lowering of it. Now, you can keep trying to trick me into a different position, but I’m in good faith to ring you, to put a position forward, but what I’m saying is that we don’t support it full stop.
Yeah, I’m not trying to trick you at all. I’m just trying to figure out the logical extension of that position.
Yep, I know. What I’m saying is, I’ve given you an answer, we can keep going on and on and on about it. I’m just making this clear to you. We don’t support it. We feel that reducing it down to 16, from 18 because it could be predatory, in that aspect. But in that aspect, we just do not believe in it. Full stop. In anal sex.
OK. Did you have anything you wanted to add on that?
No, that’s probably it. We just don’t believe it, do not support it, and never will support it.
OK. Well, thank you very much for your time, and have a good afternoon.
OK. Thank you.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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