SYDNEY, May 29, 2003 ( – New South Wales has lowered the age for homosexual sex to 16. A so-called “historic conscience vote” in the state Legislative Council, or upper house, ended in a 23 to 16 result, “generating cheers and applause from a packed public gallery,” according to media reports.  The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. George Pell, and the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Michael Malone, said the state is “opening a real Pandora’s box. … At 16 it is too easy for children to be manipulated into sexual acts against their will.” Pell added, “Parliament should not enshrine the ideological claim that homosexual and heterosexual activity are morally equivalent. It sounds a wrong note and makes the task of parents more difficult.”

For local coverage:,4057,6505044%5E1702,00.html   For more on the bishops’ remarks: