The Gay Rights Movement | The campaign for sexual equality

Public Eye | A Question Of Consent

The campaign for equal ages of consent in the UK.

CHANNEL | BBC 2

FIRST BROADCAST | 29 May 1992

DURATION | 29 minutes 06 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1992

Synopsis

In 1992, the year this programme was broadcast, UK laws treated consensual sex between gay men under 21 as a criminal offence. In this frank and open programme, John Nicolson investigates accusations of inequality in the law by homosexuals. He speaks to Michael Cashman, actor and campaigner for pressure group Stonewall, and hears from gay men who claim they have been the victims of police entrapment. He also accompanies MP Edwina Currie on a trip to the Netherlands to experience life in a country that has had a uniform age of consent since the 1970s. However, with conflicting results from opinion polls, is there enough public pressure for homosexuals to be treated equally under the law?

Did you know?

As of 2010, almost all European countries have equal ages of consent for heterosexual and homosexual people. Gibraltar maintains a two-tier age of consent: for heterosexual and female homosexual people it's 16; for male homosexuals it's 18. The Vatican State officially has the lowest age of consent, at 12 (although most laws in the Holy See fall in line with those of Italy, where the age of consent is 14). Malta has the highest age of consent in Europe, at 18.

Contributors

John Nicolson
Presenter
Presenter
Michael Cashman
Contributor
Contributor
Contributor
Contributor
Sam Collyns
Producer
Peter Horrocks
Programme Editor

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