Friday, September 28, 2012

Peter Tatchell, Megan Stammers and the Other Love that Dares Not Speak its Name

Photograph supplied by Peter Tatchell for publ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This from LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell this evening on the day that school girl Megan Stammers was found in France with her maths teacher Jeremy Forrest:

"Child “abduction” charges against Jeremy absurd. No evidence that Megan was abducted. She appears to have gone freely"

The quote appeared on Tatchell's twitter profile around 8.30 pm and, taken at face value, appears to argue that it is legitimate for a teacher to take a child (Megan is 15) out of school and enter a romantic relationship with her, as long as the child is "willing."

Peter Tatchell of course has some form in the area of explaining the complexities of relationships between adults and children. Writing a letter to the Guardian in June 1997, defending the publishing rights of a book on the subject of "boy-love", Tatchell gave an example of a tribe in New Guinea where

"‘all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood"

and seemed to grow up to be 

"happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers."

He went on to say that,

"The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.

"While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful."

Tatchell has been rather more careful with expressing his views on paedopilia since then, but is on record as supporting the lowering of the age of consent to 14. 

I'm sure Tatchell's comments will be a great comfort to Megan's family as they are reunited with their daughter.


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James said...

Peter Tatchell has made it very clear on Twitter that teachers should not have sex with pupils and adults should not have sex with under 16s.
Did you not see his tweets?

His point about abduction was that there is a difference between the normal meaning of the word abduction (a person being taken by force against their will) and what happened to Megan (bad though that was). Tatchell has condemned Jeremy Forrest and said what he did was wrong but he has suggested a more appropriate charge than abduction would be “taken without parental consent”. Even if you disagree, he is making a legitimate suggestion which in no way can be construed as endorsing abduction and / or child sex abuse.

Al Shaw said...

So much sophism.