The move is largely symbolic since Canada’s higher courts have ruled the distinction discriminatory whenever it has been challenged in recent years but homosexual activists want the change since theoretically a charge could be laid at any time.
The question came up towards the end of a 16-minute video interview Trudeau gave to Daily Xtra on the eve of his participation in last weekend’s Gay Pride Parade in Toronto.
Clearly happier to speak at length about apologizing and making amends to homosexuals convicted of lawbreaking or dismissed from government jobs in the past, Trudeau managed a terse one-sentence response when asked about addressing the two-year discrepancy between the two ages of consent: “That’s something we very much look forward to moving on in short order.”
The PM did not elaborate and the reporter did not pursue the issue by asking, for example, about the risks to psychological and physical health the Canadian government cited in 1987 when it resisted pressure to make the age of consent the same for vaginal and anal sex.
At that time the justice minister, Raymond Hnatyshyn, explained, “Medical evidence does indicate different kinds of psychological or physical harm may attach to different types of intercourse for young persons. Medical experts are not certain at what age sexual preference is established, and many argue that the age is fixed only in the later teen years. Also the question here is the heightened danger of contracting Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or other sexually transmitted disease from penetration.”
Trudeau is following in the path set by his father, Pierre Trudeau, who as justice minister coined the famous phrase: “The state does not belong in the bedrooms of the nation,” justifying, among other things, the legalization for the first time of homosexual relations between consenting adults, then deemed to be 21 years of age or more.
In 2008 the Conservative government raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 for heterosexual relations, while leaving it at 18 for anal sex. The decision came partly in response to the case of Dale Beckham, an American hebephile who had groomed a 14-year-old Canadian boy via the Internet, then visited him in Canada for sex in a hotel room. Because the youth insisted the sex was consensual, Canadian authorities could only convict the predator of possessing child pornography.
Gwen Landolt, the head of REAL Women of Canada, a group which lobbied vigorously for raising the age of consent in 2008, told LifeSiteNews, “[Justin] Trudeau is so naïve. He doesn’t understand the ramifications of homosexual activity. He is so concerned with being seen as liberal, tolerant and open, he doesn’t understand that sodomy is not the same as vaginal sex.”
In arguing that restrictions on anal sex are about health and not discrimination, Landolt has plenty of medical support. For example, the American Cancer Society advises gay and bisexual men that “HPV risk is increased by having anal sex and having many sex partners” and “Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) increases the risk of anal cancer.”
The completely secular public health site WebMD lays out clearly why anal sex is risky to health: “the anus is full of bacteria,” meaning the penetrator can get infected; “the tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the tissue on the outside,” …[ ]