Who knew it was still illegal to have anal sex in Canada? Well, it is if you’re gay and under 18 years old. That’s two years higher than the age of consent for vaginal sex.
However, according to a media advisory issued on Monday, the Canadian government is about to announce legislation that will finally repeal the law that criminalizes anal sex.
Criminal Code Section 159 states anyone who has anal sex can be jailed for up to 10 years, unless they are “husband and wife” or over 18 years old, and the sex is consensual.
The move to end the difference in age of consent between anal and vaginal intercourse comes after a report issued by the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust in June.
In its Just Society Committee report, the trust argued Canada’s higher age of consent for anal sex had been declared unconstitutional by five provincial appeals courts.
According to the report, one such judgement said anal intercourse is a basic form of sexual expression for gay men and banning young gay men from engaging in it was discrimination.
The report also quotes Justice Abella in a judgement from 1995 in addressing the fact that sex education suffers because of the confusion surrounding anal sex and the law:
“Ironically, one of the bizarre effects of a provision criminalizing consensual anal intercourse for adolescents is that the health education they should be receiving to protect them from avoidable harm may be curtailed, since it may be interpreted as counselling young people about a form of sexual conduct the law prohibits them from participating in.”