Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The government should not be prosecuting people for this

A couple in Christchurch are being prosecuted for consensual incest:

A brother and sister who met as young adults are now co-parenting a child in Christchurch and being dealt with on charges of incest.


Judge Saunders told the sister at her sentencing that it was not the more common incest situation where an older man had taken advantage of a daughter.

In this case they were siblings and there was only a small disparity in the ages. “You only came to know each other in more recent times and there was a relationship that developed of an inappropriate kind. That has resulted in you now having to take the main responsibility for bringing up the child.”

Its very hard to see why this is a crime at all. This is a relationship between consenting adults. There is no suggestion of a power imbalance or exploitation (and if there was, I'm sure the police would be pursuing much more serious charges). So what's the interest of the state in punishing it?

Basically, these people are being punished because their consensual relationship makes other people go "ick". And that's simply not a good reason, any more than it is for homosexuals, polys, multiracial couples or people who like peanut butter. People's consensual private relationships are their own business, and the state should stay out of them.