Youth participation in age of consent reform

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Youth participation in age of consent reform goes back at least as far as the 1970s. David Thorstad writes, in Man/Boy Love and the American Gay Movement, "On December 2, 1978, 150 persons attended a conference on 'Man/Boy Love and the Age of Consent' in Boston's Community Church. Initiated by Tom Reeves of the Boston-Boise Committee, several participants were prominent in the gay and progressive movements, which gave the issue a new urgency. Afterwards, 30 boy-lovers and youth formed their first activist organization, the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Boy-lovers and gay youth were becoming active protagonists. . . . [A] few lesbians attempted, in vain, to persuade NAMBLA to leave a march in New York City protesting a mobilization the same day by the Christian right wing in Washington, DC. Mark Moffet, a 15-year-old speaker from Gay Youth of New York at the rally in Sheridan Square that ended the march, defended the right of boy-lovers to participate in the movement. He was booed by a claque from NOW - the only time I have seen presumably straight supporters boo a gay speaker at a gay rally."[1]

In an interview in The Boston Phoenix in 1996, Bill Andriette said, "I realized I was gay when I was 12." He joined NAMBLA when he was 15 years old, and by the age of 17 he was a member of the Steering Committee. For six years he was the editor of the NAMBLA Bulletin.


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