Started 9 petitions
NSW Legislative Council - Please De-criminalize Adult Consensual Incest (ACI)
Whereas a 1970s Royal Commission on Human Relationships report recommendation was that there be no law against incest for consenting adults; Whereas the 1990s Model Criminal Code Officers Committee report recommendation was : The Model Criminal Code should not provide for a criminal offense of incest." Whereas Same Sex Marriage has been legalized in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, USA and many other European countries Whereas intolerance discrimination and hatred ( incestophobia) against CIAO people is just as bad now as it was for gay people (homophobia) in the past and whereas up to 40 countries have already abandoned laws that punished ACI (Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, People's Republic of China, Estonia, France, Georgia, India, Israel, Italy ( if no scandal is caused) Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirghiz Republic, North Korea, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands ,New Jersey (US) Pakistan, Portugal, Rhode Island ((US), Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, Thailand,Turkey,Turkmenistan Ukraine,Uzbekistan ) Request: Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all our leaders to act now to de-criminalize Adult Consensual Incest (ACI) and to make fair compensation and apologies to CIAO people and their family members who were unfairly and cruelly discriminated against in the past due to persecution by government officials
Petition for Civil Code of Brazil to allow consanguineous marriage
(see below for English version) Title: Petição para Código Civil do Brasil para permitir o casamento consangüíneo Prezado Procurador Geral Grace Mendonça,Hoje, a lei brasileira permite relações consangüíneas, mas não consangüíneas casados. O incesto entre adultos que consentem é legal, mas a lei brasileira discrimina pessoas com orientação incestuosa em relacionamentos adultos, proibindo-os de se casarem, mesmo que tenham filhos. Isso é injusto e prejudicial.'Ordem e progresso' é o lema brasileiro , mas onde está o 'progresso' se o CIAO (Consensual Adult Incest Oriented) ainda não pode se casar e outras minorias sexuais podem se casar? As pessoas do CIAO podem ter filhos e elas também precisam ser protegidas e ter os mesmos direitos legais que todos os outros. O povo do CIAO e seus filhos não devem estar sujeitos ao estigma social ou à incestofobia institucional e nem devem ser privados de direitos que outros têm em relações adultas consensuais: o direito de casar e o direito de ter uma mãe e um pai legalmente casados.Nem todas as pessoas do CIAO podem querer se casar, mas aqueles que desejam devem se permitir. Recusar-se a permitir que se casem é uma violação de seus direitos civis, e tratá-los como diferentes de outras pessoas é discriminá-los. Como Ministro da Justiça, por favor, inicie a reforma das leis brasileiras para que, no futuro, as pessoas que desejam se casar com consangüíneo sejam capazes de fazê-lo.Sua ajuda neste assunto será muito apreciada.Muito obrigado em nome das pessoas da CIAO em todos os lugares hoje e no futuro.Com os melhores cumprimentos,Richard MorrisPor favor, inicie a reforma das leis brasileiras para que, no futuro, as pessoas que desejam se casar com consangüíneo sejam capazes de fazê-lo. Title: Petition for Civil Code of Brazil to allow consanguineous marriage Dear Attorney General Grace Mendonça, Today, Brazilian law allows for consanguineous relationships, but not consanguineous marriages. Incest among consenting adults is legal, but Brazilian law discriminates against people with incestuous orientation in adult relationships, forbidding them to marry, even if they have children. This is unfair and harmful. 'Order and progress' is the Brazilian motto, but where is the 'progress' if the CIAO (Consensual Adult Incest Oriented) still can not marry and other sexual minorities can marry? CIAO people can have children and they also need to be protected and have the same legal rights as everyone else. The CIAO people and their children should not be subject to social stigma or institutional incestophobia nor should they be deprived of the rights that others have in consensual adult relationships: the right to marry and the right to have a legally married mother and father. Not all CIAO people may want to marry, but those who wish should allow themselves. Refusing to allow them to marry is a violation of their civil rights, and treating them as different from other people is discriminating against them. As Minister of Justice, please initiate the reform of Brazilian law so that in the future, people who wish to marry a consanguinee will be able to do so.Your help in this matter will be much appreciated.Thank you very much on behalf of the CIAO people everywhere today and in the future. Best regards, Richard Morris
Nebraska Stop jailing lovers for Adult Consensual Incest (ACI)
The present Nebraskan laws against Adult Consensual Incest, are cruel, unjust, highly discriminatory, unconstitutional ( because they breach the individual's right to the pursuit of happiness), and in breach of United Nations human rights laws that protect the right of the individual to sexual autonomy and the right to have a family. Nebraska, and other US states that also maintain such out-dated laws, need : to amend the law against incest so that it is not applicable in the cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21. In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances to have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law.
Release Washington Man charged with ACI
A man in Washington state has been convicted of having consensual sex with someone the State of Washington says he may not have sex with.If the man had been living in New Jersey or Rhode Island, or in any one of 38 other countries, he would not be in the trouble he is now in.He has not broken a universal law, just a state law. https://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/lawyers-argue-over-incest-at-sentencing/ Washington state law contravenes Universal Law as per the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Release the man and reform the law. The law in Washington is wrong and bad and here is why. There are no laws to stop married or unmarried adult woman having sex with manipulating convicted serial murderers, serial rapists, serial pedophiles, felons, pedophile and raping priests or white collar criminals, such as people with psychiatric illnesses and personality disorders, people who might be sexual perverts, sexual and or economic predators like bank-sters and politicians and pathological narcissists. There are no laws to stop adult women or men having unprotected sex with or marrying a person with Herpes, syphilis , gonorrhea, thrush, HIV AIDS, Hep A, B, or D or D, or any of a large variety of other diseases that can cause birth defects in children , or with people with limbs amputated or missing organs, or with brain injuries,or with genetic diseases causing low IQ, mental retardation, mental disorders or a host of other birth defects. There are no laws to stop a women or men adults sleeping with someone who is or has been taking gene-damaging drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes. and other drugs for recreational or medical use that are toxic to the body, carcinogenic, or mutagenic , or teratogenic and or iatrogenic.A woman or man is free to marry or have sex with a monster if he or she chooses, unless the monster is a close relative! Adult woman in Australia (where prostitution is mostly not a crime) can have sex with every adult in her street town and country, and every other adult in the world, with several people a day if she likes, several people at one time, if she likes, every day of the year if she likes, no matter what colour or race or religion and the law says nothing, (and is in most cases legally entitled to charge money!) unless those adults are close relatives of hers. Even if those close relatives of hers may have no criminal records, no illnesses physical or mental, no physical or mental defects and no genetic diseases, and they they both use contraceptives, or are both past the age of menopause,or both have been sterilized and both use contraceptives, they are guilty of incest even if she has sex even only once with them and no child is born. Even if a child is both perfectly healthy, they are still guilty.So the woman or man is allowed to produce children with birth defects with other people as long as they are not close relatives and the state will is happy to pick up the tab for the cost of caring for any children she has born with birth defects who she has produced with these special people who are non-close relatives such as the ones listed above. But if she has sex with one of those nasty close relatives, and they do it with her, she and that close relative will be charged with the horrible crime of incest and she and her horrible close relative (who could possibly be the same person who paid her to go through primary secondary, school and university , or the one who gave her a deposit for her house, or donated his or her rare type of blood for transfusion when she got injured, or an organ match when they had a rare phenotype) will be jailed fined and placed on a sex offenders list even if they were careful to use contraceptives and had not produced a child with birth defects. And if she did have a child with the horrible close relative, they will be taken from her and put into state care and or adopted out to complete strangers, until the state no longer pays for such care. The the teenager will be dumped on the street to become a criminal. The law thus arbitrarily and unreasonably makes a distinction between types of relationships and unfairly and unconstitutionally discriminates between those who are related up to a certain arbitrarily defined point and those who are not.The demarcation lines of family relatedness are arbitrarily determined across states and countries, and in some places the incest law has been extended to include people who have no blood relationship at all, but includes people who are only in a position of authority over someone. That is also arbitrarily determined law that changes according the the place and time and authorities involved. It is bad law. "The range of human rights that everyone should receive is outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. There are 30 Articles in the Declaration that highlight the basic rights of all people.The Declaration includes the rights to: not be discriminated againstbe treated equally before the lawbe presumed innocent until proven guiltyhave one’s privacy respectedmove to, and live, where one wants to within their countryvisit another countrymarry and have a familyown propertywork and have free choice of employmentbe paid reasonably for work donehave an educationa standard of living adequate for the health and well being of oneself and one’s family (with food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services)security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one’s controlparticipate in the cultural life of the community. Jailing two adults who were engaging in a victim-less crime of adult consensual incest (ACI) ( no one is injured by their mutual love and affection) is not just discriminatory but it is a mockery of justice, and a waste of the justice department's and the tax payers' time and money. The victims of such a travesty of justice ( ACI-Oriented or 'CIAO' couple) have their time and money wasted also. The time they are kept in custody, is time that they could have remained employed and paying off their mortgages and caring for their children. A conviction will spoil their chance of finding work, and their chance of finding a place to rent or travel to. They might end up unemployable and dependent on government benefits simply because one person did not like their relationship and complained to the police. Now the whole society has to suffer the cost of keeping them in jail, the cost their rehabilitation, the cost of social benefits and the cost of maintaining their children. They may have additional health care costs after all this stress of discrimination and persecution. This present legal system thus discriminates against CIAO people, but it not only punishes them and but it punishes society at the same time. The system seems to have an 'auto-immune disease', an over-reaction and mis-direction of the body politic's immune system that causes it to attack good parts of its own society, not just the bad. In this way it is creating disrespect for the law, as ordinary everyday people can see that the law is sometimes inappropriate, anachronistic, irrational and bigoted , a throw back to the time when we burned witches, homosexuals and heretics. Modern countries like Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, People's Republic of China, Estonia, France,Georgia, India, Israel, Italy ( if no scandal is caused) Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirghiz Republic, North Korea, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands ,New Jersey (US) Pakistan, Portugal, Rhode Island ((US), Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, Thailand,Turkey,Turkmenistan Ukraine,Uzbekistan don't have such laws against adult consensual incest. Only one of this list of countries has a law against homosexuality. The only possible reason to maintain laws against ACi is eugenics. However, since no proper studies have been done that prove beyond a doubt that ACI produces more birth defects per head of population than non-ACI, and since eugenics was long ago discredited by its use by the Nazi regime as a valid reason for anything other than war against certain targeted classes and races of people, the laws against ACI can can only be seen as a violation of the human rights of CIAO people and an insult to the integrity and humanity of the people and governments on planet Earth.Protecting CIAO (Consensual Incestuous Adult Oriented) people from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of a new set of CIAO-specific rights, nor does it require the establishment of new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of CIAO people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of CIAO people include obligations to: Protect individuals from incestophobic violence.Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.Repeal laws criminalizing adult consensual consanguineous-sexuality and consanguineous (CIAO) people.Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.Safeguard freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly for all CIAO people
Wyoming: Stop jailing lovers for Adult Consensual Incest (ACI)
The present Wyoming laws against Adult Consensual Incest, are cruel, unjust, highly discriminatory, unconstitutional ( because they breach the individual's right to the pursuit of happiness), and in breach of United Nations human rights laws that protect the right of the individual to sexual autonomy and the right to have a family. Wyoming, and other US states that also maintain such out-dated laws, need : to amend the law against incest so that it is not applicable in the cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21. In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances to have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law.
Petizione per legalizzare il matrimonio CIAO (consanguineo) in Italia
Egregio Ministro della Giustizia Alfonso Bonafede, Oggi, la legge italiana consente relazioni consanguinee (se non si produce scandalo) ma non il matrimonio consanguineo. L'incesto tra adulti consenzienti è legale, ma la legge italiana esistente discrimina le persone consenzienti incestuosamente orientate agli adulti ("CIAO") vietando loro di sposarsi, anche se hanno figli. Questo è ingiusto e dannoso. I Principi Fondamentali della Costituzione Italiana "riconoscono la dignità della persona, sia come individuo che nei gruppi sociali, esprimendo le nozioni di solidarietà e uguaglianza senza distinzione di sesso, razza, lingua, religione, opinione politica, personale e sociale La Costituzione riconosce anche la famiglia come una società naturale fondata sul matrimonio, mentre il matrimonio è semplicemente considerato come una condizione di uguaglianza morale e legale tra i coniugi: la legge dovrebbe garantire l'unità della famiglia, attraverso misure economiche e altro benefici, e i genitori hanno il diritto e il dovere di educare e crescere i propri figli, anche se nati fuori dal matrimonio. Ma dov'è l '"equità e giustizia" se le persone della CIAO (Consensual Adult Incest Oriented) non possono sposarsi e altre minoranze sessuali possono farlo? Le persone della C.I.A.O. possono avere figli e anche loro devono essere protetti e avere gli stessi diritti legali di tutti gli altri. Le persone della C.I.A.O. e i loro figli non dovrebbero essere oggetto di stigmatizzazione sociale o incestofobia istituzionale e né dovrebbero essere private dei diritti che altri hanno in rapporti consensuali tra adulti: il diritto di sposarsi e il diritto di avere una madre e un padre che sono legalmente sposati l'un l'altro. Non tutte le persone della C.I.A.O. potrebbero voler sposare, ma a coloro che desiderano essere autorizzati a farlo. Rifiutare di permettere loro di sposarsi è una violazione dei loro diritti civili, e trattarli in modo diverso dagli altri è discriminarli. Come Ministro della Giustizia, per favore avvia la riforma delle leggi italiane in modo che in futuro le persone del CIAO che desiderano sposarsi siano in grado di farlo.Il tuo aiuto in questa materia sarà più apprezzato.Grazie molte a nome delle persone della CIAO ovunque oggi e in futuro Cordiali saluti,Richard MorrisInternational CIAO Rights Association Dear Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, Today, Italian law permits consanguineous relationships (if no scandal is caused) but not consanguineous marriage. Incest between consenting adults is legal but existing Italian law discriminates against consenting incestuously adult oriented ('CIAO') people by prohibiting them from marrying, even if they have children. This is unfair and harmful. The Fundamental Principles of the Italian Constitution .."recognize the dignity of the person, both as an individual and in social groups, expressing the notions of solidarity and equality without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions. The Constitution also recognises the family as a natural society founded on marriage, while marriage is simply regarded as a condition of moral and legal equality between the spouses. The law is supposed to guarantee the unity of the family, through economic measures and other benefits, and the parents have the right and duty to raise and educate their children, even if born out of wedlock. But where is the 'fairness and justice' if CIAO ( Consensual Adult Incest Oriented ) people cannot marry and other sexual minorities can? CIAO people may have children and they too need to be protected and have the same legal rights as everyone else. CIAO people and their children should not be subject to social stigma or institutional incestophobia and nor should they be deprived of rights that others have who are in consensual adult relationships : the right to marry, and the right to have a mother and a father who are legally married to each other. Not all CIAO people may want to marry, but those who wish to should be permitted to. To refuse to allow them to marry is a breach of their civil rights, and to treat them as different from other people is to discriminate against them. As the Minister of Justice, will you please initiate the reform of Italian laws so that in future CIAO people who wish to marry are able to do so.Your help in this matter will be most appreciated.Thank you very much on behalf of CIAO people everywhere today and in the future. Cordiali saluti,Richard MorrisInternational CIAO Rights Association
Calling on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Ban incestophobic national laws
“As men and women of conscience, we reject discrimination in general, and in particular discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Where there is a tension between cultural attitudes and universal human rights, rights must carry the day.” Human Rights Day (10 December) 2010, the Secretary-General delivered the first of several major policy speeches on the quest for LGBT equality, calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality and for other measures to tackle violence and discrimination against LGBT people, however he omitted mention of discrimination against people in Adult Consensual Incest Oriented relationships (CIAO people.) Every year in about 80% of countries, people are being punished, jailed and sometimes even killed because of incestophobic laws, laws that often were introduced by one or other of the former imperialist countries over the last 500 years. Fortunately after the Napoleonic Code was introduced, many countries (about 40) have since followed France's example and jettisoned archaic laws based on religious superstition and bigotry, including laws against homosexuality and adult consensual incest. (Some countries had partially justified introducing such 'morals-based' anti-incest laws using pseudo-scientific 'Eugenics' arguments. But today roughly 53% of the world's population live in countries where it is not a criminal offence to be in a consensual adult relationship with a close family member. The legal establishments of those 40 countries acknowledge there is no reason for the state to jail, fine, punish or remove the children from the custody of, CIAO (Consensual Incestuous Adult Oriented) people. Most children of CIAO people are born healthy and normal, and thanks to more modern scientific education, and modern medical and contraceptive techniques, there is no reason for CIAO people to have any unhealthy children come into the world. France, where ACI is not an offence, has one of the lowest if not the lowest rate of child birth defects in the world. There is simply no rational reason for countries to criminalize, penalize or punish CIAO people in any way. Yet CIAO people are being discriminated against and harshly punished in those countries that make CIAO a crime and which spread incestophobic anti-CIAO hate propaganda via state propaganda systems - schools, print media, movies and TV shows etc.. The civil and human rights of CIAO people are being wantonly abused in the 80% of countries where CIAO is illegal. But in all 100% of countries CIAO people are prevented from legal marriage, With many countries now claiming to have introduced 'Marriage Equality' for homosexuals, it is clear that CIAO people are being neglected even by the so-called progressives, (such is the power of incestophobia, just as homophobia used to be). CIAO people also need to be free to marry if they so choose Protecting CIAO (Consensual Incestuous Adult Oriented) people from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of a new set of CIAO-specific rights, nor does it require the establishment of new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of CIAO people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of CIAO people include obligations to: Protect individuals from incestophobic violence.Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.Repeal laws criminalizing adult consensual consanguineous-sexuality and consanguineous (CIAO) people.Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.Safeguard freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly for all CIAO people
Stop political donations from corporations foreign or domestic
Explain the problem you want to solve Big corporate donors can out-spend the public voluntary organizations, so can more or less afford to 'buy' political power. That makes 'democracy' look like a sick joke.- the corporations having their own intelligence security services , access to powerful computers, and private information about everybody, and access to unlimited zero - interest cash loans from the government , corporations have hijacked democracy, and they are on the way to making it a kleptocracy, where people have no say in what is going on and while knowing bad decisions are being made by bad politicians 'on the take.' and with only an eye to pleasing their paymasters, feel powerless to stop what is being done in their name. We none of us voted for these corporations to be ruling over us! Please change the system so that , yes corporations can donate, but only to the Commonwealth Electoral Commission.... All money donated must only be iused to fund free and fair elections and must be divided equally among all the parties legally allowed to be formed. Then we will get to hear from all the parties, learn their policies and not just get bullied by the few parties with the deepest pockets.(funded by big Corporations.
Louisiana: Stop jailing lovers for Adult Consensual Incest (ACI)
The present Louisiana laws against Adult Consensual Incest, are cruel, unjust, highly discriminatory, unconstitutional ( because they breach the individual's right to the pursuit of happiness), and in breach of United Nations human rights laws that protect the right of the individual to sexual autonomy and the right to have a family. Louisiana, and other US states that also maintain such out-dated laws, need : to amend the law against incest so that it is not applicable in the cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21. In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances to have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law. The background and argument. The law in its present form is inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory. The existing law of incest in Louisiana punishes consensual adult incest (ACI) with imprisonment with hard labour up to 14 years , thus breaching the spirit and intent of UN rules about human rights, and the spirit and intent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; The Criminal Code of Louisiana (1985) http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-155.html · Incest 155 (1) Every one commits incest who, knowing that another person is by blood relationship his or her parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild, as the case may be, has sexual intercourse with that person. Marginal note: Punishment (2) Everyone who commits incest is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and, if the other person is under the age of 16 years, to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years. Marginal note: Defence (3) No accused shall be determined by a court to be guilty of an offense under this section if the accused was under restraint, duress or fear of the person with whom the accused had the sexual intercourse at the time the sexual intercourse occurred. Definition of brother and sister (4) In this section, brother and sister, respectively, include half-brother and half-sister. Note: Wikipedia appears to have incorrectly stated the maximum penalties of incest in Louisiana as ‘5-30 years’ and cites the following document as evidence. It appears to have confused the ‘30 year time limitation from the time the victim is 18 yrs’ with the actual maximum penalty of 20 years. (“fine not to exceed $50,000 and/or imprisonment not less than 5, no more than 20 years.”) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_regarding_incest_in_the_United_States#cite_note-NDAA-1 State Criminal Incest Statutes http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/criminal_incest%20chart%20_2010.pdf State : Louisiana (2008) La R.S. §14:78 La R.S. §14:78.1 LA. Code Civ. Proc. Ann. art. 571.1 Prohibited Relationships: Ascendant or descendant, brother or sister, uncle or niece, aunt or nephew (with knowledge), related by consanguinity either whole or half blood Prohibited Act (s): Marriage (unless married legally in another state) or sexual intercourse Age to Commit: Unspecified Classification, Penalty, or Jurisdiction : Imprisonment up to 15years when between ascendant and descendant or brother and sister Imprisonment up to 5 years, or up to $1000 fine (or both) if between uncle and niece or aunt and nephew; 30 year time limitation from the time the victim is 18 yrs Evidentiary Rules Aggravated Distinctions: victim under 18 involving any other involvement of a child in sexual activity and related to offender (biological, step, or adoptive relatives: child, grandchild of any degree, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece); fine not to exceed $50,000 and/or imprisonment not less than 5, no more than 20 years. __________________________________________________________________________ Public fears, prejudice and bigotry about Adult Consensual Incest ( ACI ) are mostly due to ignorance created over many years mostly by the church and church-influenced governments and newspapers, in much the same way as public fears and bigotry about homosexuality were created. In general, societies have a tendency to target isolated individuals and to attack anything perceived to be different as a threat. In October 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, and disability. It removed the requirement that the victim of a hate crime be engaged in a federally protected activity. President Obama signed the legislation on October 28, 2009. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_States Thus the imprisonment of ACI people (ACI is a sexual orientation) appears to be a hate crime. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court and according to Professor Vera Bergelson , it means that adult consensual incest must be decriminalized (Bergelson p 53 Crim Law and Philo (2013) 7:43-59), in those states where it is illegal. On 27th June 1969 Royal Assent was given to an amendment which decriminalized all private sex acts between consenting persons aged 21 or more and married couples. The Law Reform Commission of Canada (LRCC) was established by the Canadian Federal government in 1970 which has spent much of its time formulating and presenting to the public a set of far-reaching proposals for the updating of the nation’s criminal code, including the area of sexual offenses, recommended that incest be decriminalized. In the 1980 ‘Current Issue Review’ entitled ‘Sexual Offenses’ Donald McDonald of the Library of Parliament’s Research Branch of the Law and Government Division, wrote a review of the situation at that time. http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublicationsArchive/cir1000/7923-e.pdf He began his review of the current state of Canadian law, but much of what he said is applicable also to Louisiana. “The present structure of the criminal law in relation to sexual offenses, essentially unchanged since Confederation, stands as an edifice to a set of values and a view of sexual motivation and morality that no longer exist.” “There has been a virtual revolution in basic societal attitudes towards sex. The criminal law is seen by many as being at once both unresponsive to genuine problems in a society where women are no longer isolated; and superfluous in areas where the state has no business, or if it does, it should not be in the form of the criminal sanction” In relation to the law on incest he wrote (see page 11) “Incest is sexual intercourse between parent and child, brother and sister, half brother and half sister or grandparent and grand- child. (s. 150) It should be noted that solely sexual intercourse is prohibited and any other form of sexual contact between such blood relatives, as long as consensual and between individuals of sufficient age, is not illegal. Incest was generally not a crime at common law, and was first made a criminal offense in 1892. Before that it was a church offense and dealt with by local authorities and public opinion. The Law Reform Commission proposes a return non-criminal treatment, except that family courts and social agencies would be entrusted with the offense. The Commission contends that incest is usually non- violent. Its main deleterious effects are severe psychological damage to children and destruction of the family. However, disclosure in the criminal process leads to public humiliation, and often no treatment for the offender. This, and fear of punishment, leads to a reluctance to report the offense. The law on incest is a blunt and inexact instrument, hindering disclosure and inadequately dealing with those it prosecutes. Such behaviour rarely occurs in isolation from other family problems, and many would prefer to see it handled by non-legal agencies. The solution proposed is decriminalization.” This recommendation was one of the few in the Law Reform Commission Report which met with widespread public condemnation. Many feared that decriminalization would make incest seem more acceptable and any deterrent effect would evaporate, or that Parliament would be requested to approve marriages between blood relatives, raising the danger of genetic inbreeding. The situation regarding incest in Louisiana in many ways resembles the situation in Scotland and Canada, both also maintaining out-dated incest laws while ignoring changes in public opinion and growth in scientific knowledge both in genetics and medical technology. As with my petition to the Scottish parliament I base my argument for the de-criminalization of incest for consenting adults over 21 on four points: 1.The Genetic Argument.2. Public Opinion; 3. Protection of the child and other family members; 4. The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion; Point One – Public Opinion. Point One : The Genetic Argument The main justification used for establishing and then maintaining outdated incestophobic laws against ACI was and is the ‘Genetic Argument,’ which became popular around the same time in the 1890s as Darwinian theories, the matra of ‘survivial of the fittest being’ used by the pseudo-scientific proto- eugenics movement that has long been discredited along with the associated ideas of Corporatism / Fascism, with its total state surveillance supervision and regulation of every aspect our private lives. However the criminalization of ACI sexual relationships because of a purported higher risk of birth defects in children of close kin breeding does not stand up to rational argument. According to Dr James A Roffee's paper (Incest in Scots Law: Missed Opportunities in the Scottish Law Commission Review), "The genetic argument has been assessed and disregarded in England and Wales. A number of reasons in support of such a conclusion include: that genetics has not been used as a past rationale; that there is great doubt as to the greatly increased risk of a variety of diseases would justify a criminal offense; and that it was not significant in achieving the aims of protection of family and children. If the incest law was justified on the grounds of genetic defects of potential offspring, and thus override the sexual autonomy principle, not only would this be a relatively remote concern it would also have the added implication of labeling any defect caused to the offspring as a legal wrong." Since all people who mate have a 2-3% chance of having a child with a birth defect, (consanguineous couples are only marginally higher) then consistency in the law would require criminalizing "all bad fruit-producing intercourse" and thus would criminalize the large number of sexual acts that produced children with birth defects. It would obviously be unjust and unfair to convict the parents of the 6% of children born with birth defects each year world-wide. So why imprison a minuscule number of people in ACI relationships who only have a slightly higher risk of having a child with a birth defect than the general population does? A New Zealand Law Commission paper mentions the genetic argument as a reason for the continuation of the law on incest in New Zealand but ends with this admission: “296 Logically, genetics cannot be the sole determining factor, as contraception can prevent the birth of children to such relationships.” http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html The USA was recently rated as 20th in the world in the rankings of the countries with the lowest rate of children born with birth defects, with a rate of 47.8 per 1000 live births.(Note 1) But Portugal, the Netherlands and Israel , a countries where ACI is not a crime, rated 21st (47.9.) 22nd ( 48.0) and 23rd (48.5), only marginally behind the USA. But ahead of USA in the ranking were six countries where ACI is legal: Slovenia, 15th, Belgium was 10th, Spain 7th, Italy 6th, Russia 5th, and France, which legalized ACI in 1810, over 200 years ago, was 1st! http://www.marchofdimes.org/global-report-on-birth-defects-the-hidden-toll-of-dying-and-disabled-children-full-report.pdf France, which has the lowest rate of children born with birth defects (39.7) in the world, decriminalized both ACI and homosexuality in 1810. The USA, with a rate of 47.8 children with birth defects per 1000 live births, has now legalized homosexuality and gay marriage in all 50 states, but still makes ACI a crime in 47 states.(i.e. all except New Jersey, Rhode Island and Michigan).(Note 2) Point Two: Public Opinion Public opinion has changed dramatically since the 1980s, after both the Royal Commission into Human Relationships in Australia and the LRCC in Canada in 1978 made many recommendations including the legalization of abortion, homosexuality and adult consensual incest. Many western countries have passed legislation that has reflected the liberalization of attitudes to sex and relationships but this has not extended to ACI relationships. France, and many others that adopted the Napoleonic code, legalized consensual adult incest about 200 years ago along with other formerly taboo practices. In the past, fornication, adultery, divorce, prostitution, abortion, homosexuality were all either sins or illegal or both. In the majority of modern countries, most of these activities are now legal, (if not moral according to some churches). People are no longer jailed for breaking these former religion–based taboos. More people think scientifically and have degrees in science rather than theology. People's attitudes to human rights have changed a lot, especially with greater awareness of the UN rules about human rights, more widespread knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; fewer people, even the religious, but also the scientifically minded can afford to be so very moralistic and judgmental as in the past, and most people are better educated, travel to more distant places more often and are more tolerant and understanding of a great diversity of cultures and types of sexual relationships than ever before. People want and expect to have greater freedom of thought and choice and that they know they have a right to have the decisions they make about their lives - respected. When the law on incest was written in Louisiana, no public opinion polls on adult consensual incest were ever undertaken. Any claims that the law on incest was based on public opinion are dubious at best. The public attitude to incest throughout the 20th century in Louisiana has more than likely been made ignorant of the law and made by the media and education system to conflate any healthy, happy and consensual adult incest (non-coerced, non-abusive) relationships with the abusive, coercive, child abuse type of incest. This ambiguity of meanings of the word incest may have been exploited in any recent reports on incest, giving the impression that all incestuous acts are tainted with one universally negative meaning. Few people in Louisiana have been made aware of the fact, for example, that French law has allowed ACI since 1810 or that France has the lowest incidence of children born with birth defects in the world. This fact, these important bits of truth have been denied to the public, surreptitiously and subtley brainwashed from birth into thinking that all modern countries are opposed to and criminalize adult consensual incest, (which they indubitably are not and do not), and that state imposed incestophobic abuse and torture( imprisonment is abuse and torture) is ‘normal’ and that incestophobia is ‘normal.’ As was the case with other types of taboo relationships in the past,(homosexual, inter-racial) incest was made into a taboo and stigmatized, largely by the church, but also by church-controlled governments masquerading as modern secular democratic states. Point Three - Protection of the child and other family members By definition, ACI does not involve anyone under the age of 21. Therefore it involves only adults and excludes anyone under the legal age of consent, and even those a bit older who still may be psychologically immature, and vulnerable to abuse but legally adults in every respect. Children are protected from sexual and other abuse by other laws, and there is no need for the double criminalization of the offense. In other countries, such as England and Australia the crime of 'child sexual abuse' has replaced the more stigmatizing and psychologically damaging term 'incest'. Victims of child sexual abuse do not benefit from being stigmatized when associated with the taboo word 'incest.' (Another reason why the present law needs reforming urgently). Punishing ACI couples does nothing for the protection of the child or other family members. If a parent goes to prison for ACI, it means if there are young children in the family, they have lost the family income from the family breadwinner. If adult siblings are involved in ACI, how can a jail sentence for them protect anyone else in the family? The two are being punished for being in love with each other. It punishes the whole family, and splits them up by denying it the income it could have derived from two working adults, now sent to prison and humiliated. It is not protecting a family to disgrace it and humiliate it, by associating it and other family members with criminal sentencing of an ACI couple in the family and the stigma of incest. Point Four - The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion It is likely that some reports in Louisiana, like those of the LRCC in Canada would contend that incest’s main deleterious effects are severe psychological damage to children and destruction of the family. However, disclosure in the criminal process leads to public humiliation, and often no treatment for the offender. This, and fear of punishment, leads to a reluctance to report the offense. In ‘Considerations’ of the section 11 ‘Forbidden marriage and incest’ (The New Zealand Law Commission’s Preliminary Paper 38 Adoption: Options for Reform (1999) it said “ The integrity of the family is the element that needs to be added to the above reasoning in order to justify the prohibitions. The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members. For most people a family is a place where they wish to belong and feel secure, where they are accepted and acknowledged, loved and cared for. But the most crucial need is for society to ensure that families are stable and healthy, and that members accept responsibility for one another, as they are the most effective defensive structures against marginalization, frustration and want. At times of crisis, social tension and personal problems the first place from which help is usually sought is within the family. The family has the potential for being the best institution for the nurture of children and for intimacy between adults. 298 Incest threatens the security and the stability of the family unit. Marriage within close family relationships is seen as undesirable for the same reasons. The Scottish Law Commission in its report on the law of incest observed that incest could give rise to psychological or other direct harm, a breakdown of trust within the family and may sometimes result in disruptive rivalries. http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html Our response to that is this: There is no evidence that ACI disturbs family cohesion or solidarity any more than fornication, promiscuity, divorce, homosexuality, prostitution or adultery or even unemployment do. All these acts are no longer subject to criminal punishment, as they may have been under Ecclesiastical Law. Incest was a sin according to the Christian church and under Ecclesiastical Law it was punished by various penances, and 'dispensations' (or 'fines'). Fortunately we are not living under an Anglican theocracy. It is discriminatory to make ACI a crime for purportedly disturbing family cohesion or solidarity when all these other ‘former sins’ and crimes are no longer punished. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation as a legal wrong, and ACI is a sexual orientation (hence the term ‘CIAO’ for people who have an ACI orientation.) Jealousy occurs in all kinds of relationships. In today’s society a married woman may quite legally begin to have sexual relationships with several other married or unmarried men and or women and her husband has no recourse, no matter how jealous he may feel. And vice versa. Parents may even feel terribly hurt when their children divorce, become prostitutes, decide to abort a potential grandchild, or have a same sex marriage and swear never to have children. Life is full of pain, but that is not an excuse to deny people their human rights to love and to start a family with the person they have fallen into a loving committed relationship with, even if it is a family member. CIAO couples sometimes have no other living relatives. They constitute a family. They deserve the respect and protection that is implicit in the two sentences mentioned above “The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members.”