Anti-Incest laws cause more harm than good

The law is a serious problem for most consanguinamorous couples around the world, except in a few countries such as the Netherlands, Spain and France where it was either never illegal, or has been decriminalized. Almost everywhere we must watch our back in case the big bad state come in and arrest us. In the west, the countries that criminalize our love send us to jail, often for a length of time rivaling that of murderers, child molesters, bank robbers, drug barons, and other serious career criminals. This is morally OUTRAGEOUS that our own governments treat us in such a way when our only ‘crime’ is to love another consenting adult in a way that society in general disapproves of. Crimes that create victims of course deserve penalties, including compensation for the victims… but where there is no victim, no penalty or recompense is applicable and the concept of a ‘crime’ breaks down.

People tend to respect the law more when the law makes sense and can be expected to be agreed upon by a sane and impartial person who judges not with emotion, but out of a firm sense of right and wrong. Some laws in life are obviously necessary, such as not stealing what doesn’t belong to you, not depriving others of life or limb, not recklessly endangering the safety of others. We can all agree that these laws are based upon common sense, and that they are worthy of our obedience for the common good of society.

Some laws criminalize behaviours based on the fact that the persons engaging in them are by default harming themselves. A good example of this is the misuse of drugs. To me this is a grey area because there are plenty of legal behaviours which may be harmful, such as an alcoholic drinking him/herself literally to death. We criminalize the taking of socially unacceptable drugs, and we permit the socially acceptable ones of alcohol and tobacco. Here there is a double standard at work, but the legalization or prohibition of substances is beyond the scope of this essay and therefore I won’t discuss them further. I mention them only to highlight societal attitudes and the reflecting legislation, and the fact that there isn’t a blanket ban or blanket acceptance of taking any and all substances.

There are laws also that criminalize behaviours that are NOT harmful either to the individuals involved or to society in general. One of those behaviours is consensual sex between adult family members. These laws claim to be preventing harm, and yet where exactly that harm is, is nearly impossible to pinpoint, because it doesn’t exist!

The law against incest is based upon the presumption of harm, and that presumption is based upon misinformation and prejudice. People generally associate incest with deformed babies and child abuse. Due to the secretive nature of this form of sexuality, the public have little information to go on, and this completely inaccurate stereotype persists as a result. I cover the deformed babies and child abuse arguments in other essays, but for the benefit of those who are new to my blog, I will repeat them in condensed form here:

In ancient Egypt, 20% of people married a close family member, yet there is no records or mass disability as a result of this in history. Child abuse is and should always be illegal because it causes lifelong harm to the victims. The latter does not apply to consensual sex between related adults, the former means that the risks are grossly exaggerated by media and society.

The risk of treating these innocent consanguinamorous couples as criminals though is pretty damn obvious to anyone with an active brain cell and any empathy whatsoever. People are torn away from those they love the most and put into prison for long periods of time. Despite not harming anyone, they are treated worse than drug dealers and thieves. How exactly is that right or fair?

Furthermore, people like us have to look over their shoulder in case anyone finds out. Somebody who gets done for assault for instance, might do a little time, come out of jail and then people might think ‘what a dickhead’ but otherwise let him go about his life unmolested. The crime is considered bad, but people may wonder what drove the person to committing it, for instance did he decide to lamp the guy banging his girlfriend every other day? Was he desperate and owed money? Was it a drug deal gone wrong? They all agree that the crime was wrong, but they almost bend over backwards to rationalize the wrong behaviour.

Compare that reaction to the reaction received by consanguine couples. People would assume that there is no reason to have a relationship with a family member, they also assume abuse, mental illness and all sorts of things. In short, when it’s a non-conformist sexuality, people suddenly become much less understanding. The reaction is far less understanding of consensual incest than it is for assault! Yet assault has a victim where consanguinamorous sexuality does not. To me this is a moral inversion; if there is harm there is a crime, if there is no harm then there is no crime.

These insane laws rip apart loving couples and families, they devastate lives… and for what? To satisfy some sense of cohesion in society which we don’t even begin to threaten in the first place. Really people, this has got to stop. We are not your enemy, we are your neighbor, your friend, we are the people who serve you in shops, we are your doctors and lawyers, we are your hairdressers and your car mechanics… we are everywhere fulfilling our duties as members of society. You may never see us, but we are there always in the shadows that we are forced to live in.

Some of us have been driven to suicide because of such prejudice, and many others have been emotionally harmed by believing that they are bad and sick when there is nothing at all wrong with them. For the love of God, open your hearts to us. I am asking on behalf of all those who love a family member who dare not speak out even online… please be the start of the end of this form of prejudice. If you discover one of us, be the first NOT to report us, be the first to try to understand us and get to know us. Even better be the first to truly accept us for what we are, and acknowledge that we have a right to live as we choose to. Please think of us and our plight, because any minority can be victimized, today it’s us, tomorrow… who knows.

 

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