London (CNSNews.com) - Homosexual advocacy activists in Britain have called on the government to override opposition from the upper House of Lords and push through plans to change the law to legalize sex between men from the age of 16.
Angela Mason, the executive director of "gay right group" Stonewall, gave its reaction to the House of Lords' decision late Monday to reject for a third and final time legislation aimed at equalizing the age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual activities.
Mason said Baroness Young, the Conservative lawmaker who spearheaded opposition in the unelected upper House, and her supporters had "had their day." It was now time they accepted the will of the elected House of Commons.
The Labor government is determined to push through the amendment before the end of the current parliamentary session, and ministers are planning to invoke a seldom-used law to get around the upper chamber.
Labor lawmaker Lord Alli, the only openly homosexual member of the Lords, said during the debate he was not asking members to approve of or understand homosexual acts.
"What I am asking you to do is to remove the penalty and weight of the law from those young men aged 16 and 17, who consent to have sex with other men."
Matters of this nature, Alli said, should be decided by the generations involved in them, and not by lawmakers of Young's generation.
"I ... understand that her motives are well intentioned. I liken them to the concerns of a kindly grandparent. In that spirit, I ask the noble Baroness to let people of my generation live their lives in their own way." Alli is 36.
In her contribution to the debate, Young pointed out that people who indulged in anal sex were disqualified from donating blood because of health risks involved.
She also referred to two recent incidents that gave cause for grave concern. A local authority in western England has published a video and booklet advising youngsters to try sex with boys and girls and see what they feel most comfortable with.
Another city's health authority funded a "weekend break" for 10-18 year olds, organized by a homosexual group and aimed at homosexuals or those who were "confused about their sexuality." The event was eventually called off because of a public outcry.
See earlier story