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Liberals Expected to Repeal Discriminatory Anal Sex Law

It's about time.

Mack Lamoureux

Mack Lamoureux

Photo via CP

Did you guys know that it's illegal in Canada to have anal sex if you're under 18?

Take a look at the criminal code, it's right there, in Section 159.

"Every person who engages in an act of anal intercourse is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction," it reads.

If you're married and if both consenting partners are over 18 it is legal but if not, off to the slammer with you, bud. It's also illegal if "it is engaged in in a public place or if more than two persons take part or are present." So no anal threeways are allowed by the government of Canada.

For those of you keeping count, 18 is two years older than 16—the typical age of consent in Canada

But, fear not, because, according to the Huffington Post, at the start of next week the Liberal government are expected to bring forward legislation on Tuesday that would repeal Section 159.

Previously, the 159 has been found to be unconstitutional in front of three courts. In a 1995 ruling Justice Rosalie Abella, for the Court of Appeal for Ontario, explained it was unconstitutional.

"Gays and lesbians form a historically disadvantaged group, and s. 159 violates s. 15(1) of the Charter because it arbitrarily disadvantages individuals in that historically disadvantaged group—gay men—by denying to them until they are 18 a choice available at the age of 14 [the age of consent at the time] to those who are not gay, namely, their choice of sexual expression with a consenting partner to whom they are not married. Anal intercourse is a basic form of sexual expression for gay men."

But even though it had been deemed unconstitutional it remained on the books and police have the power to continue to enforce it. For years activists and politicians have worked to repeal the section but to no avail.

The sections repealing was the first thing listed in the "Current Issues" section of the Equality for Gays And Lesbians Everywhere Canada (Egale) report that came out this June.

They recommend the Government of Canada "repeals the existing provision governing the age of consent to anal intercourse to bring it in line with provision governing heterosexual conduct under the Criminal Code."

Of course, some people won't be too happy about it. Renowned purveyors of bad and outdated ideas, REAL Women of Canada, said previously that they were opposed to the repealing of 159 writing, in a response to the Egale report, that "it would mean that anal sex would be available anywhere, anytime with anyone without any restrictions as to age. This is alarming!"

Dr. Kristopher Wells, the faculty director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta, is traveling to Ottawa for the start of next week. Wells told VICE he applauds "the Trudeau government for continuing to make Canada a human rights leader around the world."

"All of our laws must be modernized so they no longer discriminate against LGBTQ people."

Yeah, seems about right.

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