Marlene Jennings would have the age of consent be 25

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I'm working on a lengthy posting about various freedom of expression issues and the 28 October Hansard, but this quote jumped out at me and I think it deserves its own blog entry, especially because it's not really about freedom of expression but rather the age of sexual consent.  Mrs.  Marlene Jennings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.):  "As a mother, and I do not mean to trivialize the question, I would love to have the age of consent at 25." I think that's the sort of quote that deserves a lot of press coverage.  [Marlene Jennings would have the age of consent be 25]

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Comments

Marc from 70.82.215.202 at Fri, 13 Jan 2006 01:51:57 +0000:
seriously, if there ever was a tongue in cheek comment, this is it. I've met Marlene, and she's not uptight, she just has a young daughter and (like most of us) wish she wasn't growing up so fast. This wasn't a serious policy comment and is really taken out of context.

denstat from 216.239.77.101 at Sun, 03 Sep 2006 06:06:11 +0000:
if you read the article/transcipt to which you have linked, just below the inflammatory quotation you have cited, it is more than obvious that the woman was kidding, as she clarifies immediately to state that she supports raising the age of consent to 16. your blog entry is taken utterly out of context, and is in fact, wrong. why would you either not read the whole thing, or deliberately publish something untrue?

Matthew Skala from 216.59.228.13 at Sun, 03 Sep 2006 13:42:50 +0000:
Don't call me a liar, please. She really did say what I said she said.

As for whether she meant it:

- The official proceedings of Parliament are not the place for that kind of joke, if it was a joke.

- She did *not* at any point say that it was a joke, or that 25 wouldn't be a good idea.

- She suggested 16 a couple sentences later, but in a way that made it sound like that would be the compromise she'd accept - not that 16 would be her idea of the really preferable age of consent.

- She did acknowledge that there could be reasons that raising the age of consent might be inappropriate, such as the tension between the age of consent and the age of marriage. That puts her ahead of, for instance, Ken Epp, the next speaker; but it doesn't negate anything else I (or she) said.

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