In with the ‘Gay Lobby’: New Labour’s Media Battle to Lower the Age of Consent

This is the content of a Twitter thread on the media reaction to Labour’s lowering of the age of consent for homosexual couples to sixteen in 1998

Despite a Commons majority of 207, the move was highly controversial and it was bitterly opposed by Conservative MPs and the right-wing press.

The Sun called it a ‘Vote of Shame’ as ‘MPs take a giant stride along the road to moral degeneration’.

They criticise the Government for misleading the people and beginning a process where ‘they will say, what’s wrong with 14’ to appeal to ‘perverts who prey’ on young men

The Daily Mail argued that it was a ‘big step in the wrong direction’ with Labour ‘surrendering’ to the ‘gay lobby’ and disregarding public opinion.

They claimed that ‘the militant gay movement, already in full cry, needs no encouragement’

The Telegraph claimed it would put men ‘into the hands of paedophiles’
Conservative MP Nicholas Winterton argued during a Commons debate

“a homosexual act is unnatural and that if the Lord Almighty had meant men to commit sodomy with other men, their bodies would have been built differently?”

He asked whether “the homosexual community been one of the main sources of AIDS?”

During the debate, Conservative MP Sir Patrick McCormack argued
“many people are not born a homosexual—it is for them that we must have a special regard. Would anyone seriously suggest that every sailor who followed a homosexual way of life was born homosexual?”

While an opinion piece in the Mail asked:

‘Do I wish my child to have gay sex at 16? The answer in almost every case would have been No’

The Telegraph dubbed ‘the people’s party is deepest pink’

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