The existing consent at 16 law was introduced over 100 years ago in a puritanical Victorian era. Since then, society has moved on to more informed and enlightened attitudes about sex... Given that the average age of first sexual experience is 14, then an age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16.
Commonwealth leaders from around the world meet in Sri Lanka on Friday. Yet again they plan to ignore the criminalisation of lesbian and gay people in 80% of Commonwealth member states. They are refusing to even discuss the current homophobic persecution in Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria... At least 41 of the 53 Commonwealth member states still criminalise homosexuality. They account for more than half of the world's countries where same-sex relations are illegal.
Cameron says he's against a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia but he hasn't said what he'll do instead. We are asking the Prime Minster to raise Russia's homophobic repression at the G20 summit. We want him to publicly urge President Putin to repeal the "gay propaganda law" - which bans the "promotion" of homosexuality - and to prosecute the violent homophobes who are terrorising LGBT people in Russia. It is hoped that the 3 September protest will also ramp up pressure on the International Olympic Committee to insist that Russia gives cast-iron assurances that LGBT competitors, spectators and members of the Russian public - and their straight allies - will not be victimised
Manning has been sentenced to 35 years jail for releasing to WikiLeaks classified documents that exposed US war crimes, lies and cover-ups, while the people who committed these criminal acts have never been prosecuted. What kind of justice system jails the person who reveals a crime, while allowing the crime perpetrators to walk away scot-free?
The whole point about the principle of universal human rights is that they apply to everyone - even to people that many of us find objectionable, such as the alleged terrorist orchestrator Abu Qatada... I oppose what Abu Qatada stands for and no doubt he does not share my values. However, even people I oppose have human rights. Our distaste for particular individuals should never be the basis or motive for changes in the law - least of all changes that diminish our hard-won collective liberties.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has signed into law the new homophobic Bill that criminalises gay freedom of expression. The adoption of children by foreign same-sex couples has also been banned and gay organisations that receive financial donations from overseas are being fined as 'foreign agents'. These are the latest examples of an escalating trend towards homophobic repression in Russia...
By international standards, Iran's election is not free and fair. Candidates are vetted by the Guardian Council and all democratic, liberal, secularist, left-wing and women candidates are banned. The media is censored. There is no open political debate. Dissenting opinions are suppressed and liable to result in arrest.
The calls for banking reform are growing. About time. The big crash was more than five years ago. Since then we've had Libor rate-fixing, bonuses for failed financiers, massive fines for malpractices by leading banks, mis-sold PPI, interest rate swaps, fraud, money-laundering and tax dodging. Scandal after scandal. Are we mugs or masochists? Why do we put up with it? The rot has got to stop.
Students and staff should not be subjected to hate and menaces. Universities are supposed to be places of enlightenment, tolerance, liberalism and human rights. It is shocking the way many student Islamist societies are promoting hate preachers who are anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic and who abuse fellow Muslims.
While The Queen has spoken approvingly of the UK's many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons. If she treated black and Asian Britons in the same way, she'd be denounced as a racist. Why the double standards? The monarchy is homophobic - if not by conscious intent, then certainly by default.
Reading University and students union have praised the university's Muslim Society, despite its bid to host the "kill the gays" Islamist preacher, Abu Usamah at-Thahabi. Thahabi had been invited to speak to the far right university Muslim Society as part of its Discover Islam Week. He endorses the murder of gay people and of Muslims who give up their faith.