Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

ANYONE who has followed this government's crusade for gay rights might be forgiven for thinking that we are ruled by outrageous libertarians. We have had repeated attempts to legalise homosexual activity for 16-year-olds and to permit local authorities to promote homosexuality among 12-year-olds. Now ministers have unveiled plans to legalise `cruising' in public conveniences.

Yet, at the same time, our leaders can be remarkably prudish. Further to last week's measures against kerbcrawlers, the Home Office - motto: `Building a safe, just and tolerant society' - has announced proposals for three new offences relating to sexually explicit videos. In future you may be prosecuted for `showing a video classified as R18 to a child', `allowing a child to watch an R18 video' or `failing to take reasonable care to prevent a child from watching an R18 video'.

Many conservative-minded folk will applaud these measures, even if the last rule means that parents, hostel-keepers and boarding-school headmasters may face a sojourn behind bars for allowing their 16- and 17-year-old charges to keep an unmonitored video recorder in their rooms. …

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