Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Guernsey gay age of consent lowered to 16

Gay men holding hands
Deputies argued the rules should be the same for all 16-year-olds

The homosexual age of sexual consent in Guernsey will be lowered to 16-years-old, politicians have agreed.

In an unanimous vote earlier, States members agreed to drop the gay age of consent by two years, from 18.

It brings the law for homosexuals in Guernsey in line with laws for heterosexual couples.

The Home Minister, Deputy Geoff Mahy, said the move stopped legislation discriminating against people based on their sexuality.

It's going to be possibly very detrimental to the health of many young people
John Henry, protester

Speaking during the debate he said: "No modern government should support legislation that allows discrimination because of age, race, sex or sexual orientation.

"These are not choices that people make, but are part of who they are."

Deputy Mary Lowe argued because all 16-year-olds could leave school and vote, the age of consent should also be the same for all of them.

One resident, John Henry, protested against the change in the law, outside the States building.

"It's going to be possibly very detrimental to the health of many young people," he claimed.

Deputies also agreed to make it legal for more than two men to have sex together at the same time.

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