Dale Roberts, pictured with his parents Peter and Mary, has received thousands of likes on social media after his dad's post on George Christensen's page about 'homophobic' policies.
Dale Roberts, pictured with his parents Peter and Mary, has received thousands of likes on social media after his dad's post on George Christensen's page about 'homophobic' policies. Contributed

Vietnam vet speaks out against 'homophobic' policy stance

Update, 4pm:

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen has declined to comment over the phone on the post written by Vietnam veteran Peter Roberts.

The MP sent through a written statement, saying it appeared that "further clarification is required regarding my comments on lowering the age of consent to 16 for boys".

"I am concerned that this action is legalising predatory behaviour. If the State Labor Government was lowering the age of consent for girls, I would have the same stance," he said.

"Regardless of whether we are talking about girls or boys, I believe that a 16-year-old is too young to fully comprehend the implications of their actions, which can be far-reaching and damaging.

"Call me old fashioned if you wish, but that is my view.

"I honestly don't know too many parents who would be happy with older adults taking advantage of the naivety of their 16-year-olds who think themselves worldly-wise, but are little more than children."

28 of Mr Christensen's fellow LNP MPs voted for the bill in Parliament last week.

Initial:

A VIETNAM veteran has voiced criticism for George Christensen's "homophobic" stance on a State Government decision to standardise consent laws.

Last week ALP and 28 LNP members of parliament voted to reduce the age of consent for anal sex from 18 to 16, bringing it in line with other sexual activities.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen voiced his disapproval on Facebook, asking "Do we really want 16 year old boys being preyed upon and groomed by much older men for what is now legal sex?"

Peter Roberts commented on the post, saying he was "so proud" of what his gay son had achieved during his life.

"A few Anzac years ago you bought me a beer, as a 20 plus veteran with two tours of Vietnam," Mr Roberts wrote.

"If you did it now I would tip the bloody thing over your head."

Mr Roberts said Mr Christensen's response was "homophobic" and implied gay people "must be pedophiles".

"So it is alright for old men like me to try and find a younger women but not a gay man," he wrote.

"(My son) should have the same rights as I have to marry, to adopt if he and his partner wants to and not have clowns like you who live in the past helping to run this country and make decision for us and him."

Mr Roberts then asked Mr Christensen to ask for him if he decided to come to the Reef Gateway Hotel at Cannonvale for an Anzac Day service and signed off as 18201 Warrant Officer Second Class Peter Roberts.

Mr Christensen's post attracted more than 580 comments and 445 shares. The majority of comments supported the legislation change.

"What is the difference between that and heterosexual sex being legal at 16 George? Is it ok to groom a 16 year old girl for sex but not a boy?" wrote Ben Foran.

"It's just standardising the age of consent for all sexual acts. It doesn't make anal sex compulsory."

Liam Leonard commented that victims would still be protected as "it's called rape if it's not consensual".

"I don't see how legal anal intercourse lowered to the age of 16 is going to let 50yr olds get away with anything," he said.

Alastair Lawrie said that he had made a submission to the Queensland Parliament Committee inquiry that considered the legislation.

"I grew up in Central Queensland during the 1980s and 1990s and was very conscious first of the criminalisation of homosexuality, and then of the unequal age of consent," he said.

"If you care about young people being treated equally irrespective of who they are, and if you care about young people being empowered to take control of their own health (including sexual health), then you should support equalisation of the age of consent too."



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