Topic: Chris Morris

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Chris Morris (born 23 May 1979) is an activist who, with Euan Sutherland, successfully challenged the British Government in the European Court of Human Rights and secured an equal age of consent for gay men. He went on to study psychology and work as a political speechwriter and consultant.

When male homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, the age of consent was set at 21. It was lowered to 18 in 1994, but Morris and Sutherland took their case to Europe to demand it be reduced further to 16, the same age as it is for heterosexuals. They invoked Articles 8 and 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantee the right to a private life and protection from discrimination.

Their case was originally backed by the gay rights group Stonewall and later Morris formed his own organisation, YouthSpeak, which was funded by Sir Ian McKellen. YouthSpeak sent delegations of teenagers to meet MPs and the media to tell their personal stories about how an unequal age of consent affected their lives. The group also projected a laser beam onto Big Ben demanding "16 for everyone" and delivered a 25,000-strong petition to new prime minister Tony Blair when he was elected in May 1997.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chris Morris."