Previously in the the UK 16 was the age of consent for only heterosexual couples, I think the age of consent for homosexual intercourse was 18. The amendment bill was designed to equalize this.
The difference had little justification as every argument for the age restriction to stay at 18 was either prejudiced or would cover gay or heterosexual 16 year olds. Young teenage girls (and boys) are just as vulnerable to being manipulated into sex by boys (or by girls) as any young homosexual male. There are sexual predators out there to take advantage of people of any age or sexuality, but I believe the question of safety and responsibility comes back to education and not prohibition. Age restrictions are necessary to protect the young but differentiating between sexualities just engenders prejudice.

The House of Lords blocked the passage of the bill on different occasions, finally the House of Commons pushed it through.The only reason the lords blocked it was their own bias, it was just one of the many inequalities in our society.

The full amendment bill can be viewed here >>>


The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill came into effect on the 8th of January 2001, the ages of consent have been equalized and now they both stand at 16 for all in England, Scotland and Wales. Young homosexual couples' rights are now more in line with those of young heterosexuals.

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