Talk:Age of Consent
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- In S.L. vs. Austria the [European Court of Human Rights] held that the fact that the 17 year old applicant is not himself criminally liable does not impair his status as a victim under Art. 34. The contribution of the law "to general stigmatisation of homosexuality, the ensuing reluctance of male adolescents to disclose their sexual orientation, particularly in the rural area where he is living, and the inhibitions imposed on their sexual behaviour", given his attraction to men older than himself the inability to "enter into any sexual relationship corresponding to his disposition without exposing his partner to the risk of criminal prosecution" and without exposing "himself to the risk of being involved in criminal investigations and of having to testify as a witness on the most intimate aspects of his private life ... constitutes an interference with the right to respect for one's private life (see the Smith and Grady v. United Kingdom judgement, nos. 33985/96 and 33986/96, § 71, ECHR, 1999-VI)".
- The decision in L. & V. vs. Austria has been taken unanimously, the decision in S.L. vs. Austria by a majority.
- S.L. is a young gay man of (at the time of application) 17 years who complains that Art. 209 CC violated his rights to respect for private life (Art. 8 ECHR) and to non-discrimination (Art. 14 ECHR).
- The applicant submitted that at about age eleven or twelve he began to be aware of his sexual orientation. While other boys were attracted by women, he realised that he was emotionally and sexually attracted by men, whereby his attraction was directed towards adult men, not boys of his age. At the age of fifteen he was sure of being homosexual. He lives in a rural area where homosexuality is still a taboo. He suffers from the fact that he cannot live his homosexuality openly and - until he reached the age of eighteen - could not enter into any fulfilling sexual relationship with an adult partner for fear of exposing that person to criminal prosecution under section 209 of the Criminal Code, of being himself obliged to testify as a witness on the most intimate aspects of his private life and of being stigmatised by society should his sexual orientation become known.
- The applicant complains under Art. 8 of the Convention, taken alone and in conjunction with Art. 14, about section 209 of the Criminal Code, penalising homosexual acts between adult men and consenting adolescents between fourteen and eighteen years of age. The applicant points out in particular that in Austria, as in the majority of European countries, heterosexual and lesbian relations between adults and consenting adolescents over fourteen years of age are not punishable. While not necessary for protecting male adolescents in general, section 209 of the Criminal Code hampers homosexual adolescents like him in their development by attaching a social stigma to their relations with adult men and to their sexual orientation in general.
Jillium 03:04, 15 February 2009 (UTC)