For the Legalization of Consanguinamous Relationships in Sweden

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We the undersigned petitioners appeal to the Swedish Parliament to ask the Swedish Government to amend the law against incest, so that it does not apply in cases where both participants are consenting adults over 21 years of age. Moreover, for those convicted under such circumstances, both the sentences should be repealed in the light of a legislative amendment.

BACKGROUND

The law in its present form is inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory. The existing incest law in Sweden punishes consensual incest with incarceration and thus violates the spirit and intent of the UN human rights provisions and the spirit and purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to personal and sexual autonomy;

"Incest with a descendant or a full sibling is prohibited by law in Sweden.[104] Half-siblings can marry, but require special approval by the government."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_incest#Sweden

The Swedish Legal Code Chapter 6 Section 4A
A person who engages in a sexual act with someone under eighteen years of age and who is that person's offspring or for whose upbringing he or she is responsible, or for whose care or supervision he or she is responsible by decision of a public authority, shall be sentenced for sexual exploitation of a minor to imprisonment for at most four years. This also applies to a person who, in circumstances other those mentioned previously in this Chapter, engages in a sexual act with a child under fifteen years.
Section 6
If a person has sexual intercourse otherwise than as previously provided in this Chapter with his or her own child or its offspring imprisonment for at most two years shall be imposed for sexual intercourse with an offspring. A person who has sexual intercourse with a blood sibling shall be sentenced to imprisonment for at most one year for sexual intercourse with a sibling.The provisions of this Section do not apply to a person who has been made to commit the act by unlawful coercion or other improper means. (Law 1992:147)
https://www.legislationline.org/download/id/1700/file/4c405aed10fb48cc256dd3732d76.pdf
Arguments for maintaining the ban on sibling sex and sex between parents and their adult children do not hold up.

Public fears, prejudices and bigotry towards the adult consensual incest (ACI) are largely due to ignorance, which for many years has been caused mainly by church and church-influenced governments and newspapers, much like public fears and bigotry about homosexuality. In general, societies tend to target isolated individuals and attack anything perceived as a threat.

Sweden's incest law is based on four points: 1. public opinion; 2. Protection of the child and other family members; 3 The maintenance of family solidarity and cohesion; 4 The genetic argument

1- Public Opinion.

Public opinion has changed dramatically since the 1980s. H. After the Royal Commission has made many recommendations in Human Relationships in Australia, including the legalization of abortion, homosexuality and consensual adult incest. Many Western countries have passed laws that reflect the liberalization of attitudes to sex and relationships, but this has not been extended to ACI relations. Last year, Sweden even legalized same-sex marriage. France and many others who adopted the Napoleonic Code legalized amicable adult incest and homosexuality more than 200 years ago. In the past, fornication, adultery, divorce, prostitution, abortion, homosexuality were either sins or illegal or both. In most modern countries, most of these activities are legal, if not moral, today. People are no longer being imprisoned because they have broken these earlier religious taboos. More people think scientifically and have degrees in science rather than theology.

Human attitudes to human rights have changed dramatically, notably through increased awareness of United Nations human rights law, a broader understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, in particular, of the right to personal and sexual autonomy; Fewer people, even religious, can afford to be as moralizing and judgmental as before, and most people are better educated, travel to more distant places more often and are more tolerant and understand a wide variety of cultures and types of sexuality relationships than ever before. People want and expect more freedom of thought and choice.

When the incest law was written in Sweden, no public opinion polls about consensual adult incest were conducted. Assertions that the incest law is based on public opinion are doubtful and not supported by any evidence.

Swedish public opinion about adult consensual incest and incest laws in Sweden during the 20th century was most likely formed in ignorance of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the obligations it places on states to respect human rights and equality. In the view of the law and the media and education systems, all incest cases , whether they were between healthy, happy consenting adults or not (i.e. (non abusive) or not . were treated as cases of abuse, coercion, the child abuse sort of incest. Thus, the ambiguity of the word incest was been exploited to the full in legal and news reports of incest cases to give the impression that all incestuous were heinous acts and had negative impact on society, which is far from the truth. Few people in Sweden have been made aware that French law has allowed ACI in France since 1810. This fact, this vital piece of truth was denied to the public, which was subtley brainwashed into believing that all countries criminalize adult consensual incest,impose incestophobic abuse and torture on CIAO people (Imprisonment is abuse and torture) and that such state-sanctioned abuse is "normal" and incest phobia is "normal, " which is not the case. France and about 40 other countries do not criminalise ACI and don't punish people for having consensual adult consanguineous relationships.

As with other taboo relationships in the past, (homosexual, interracial) incest was made a taboo and stigmatized, mainly by the church, but also by church governments masquerading as modern secular democratic states.

2 - protection of the child and other family members

By definition, ACI does not include anyone under the age of 21. It therefore refers only to adults and excludes persons under the legal age, and even those who are a little older and may still be mentally immature and prone 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 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 harmful term "incest". Victims of child sexual abuse do not benefit from stigmatization associated with the taboo word "incest". (Another reason why the current law needs to be reformed).

Punishing ACI /CIAO couples does nothing to protect the child or other family members. If a parent goes to prison for the ACI , it means that if there were small children in the family, they have lost the family income from the family earner, and their carers. If adult siblings are involved in ACI, how can their imprisonment protect their family? The two are punished for being in love with each other. Jail sentences punish the entire family and splits them up by denying them the income they could have had from two working parents who are now being sent to jail and humiliated. Jail does not protect a family from the embarrassment and humiliation of being linked with other family members convictioned for ACI.

3 - The maintenance of solidarity and cohesion of the family

A New Zealand Legislative Commission cites as a reason for the continuation of the incest law in New Zealand
Integrity of the family
The integrity of the family is the element that must be added to the above considerations to justify the prohibitions. The United Nations stated in 1994 that the "family is the fundamental unit of society". It is critical to the development and maintenance of its individual members. [318]

For most people, a family is a place where they want to belong and feel safe, where they are accepted, recognized, loved and cared for. The most important requirement, however, is that society ensures that families are stable and healthy, and that members assume responsibility for each other, as they are the most effective defense against marginalization, frustration and distress. In times of crisis, social tensions and personal problems, the first place where help is usually sought is within the family. The family has the potential to be the best institution for the education of children and the intimacy between adults.

Incest threatens the security and stability of the family unit. Marriage in close family relationships is considered undesirable for the same reasons. The Scottish Law Commission, in its report on the law of incest, has found that incest can cause psychological or other direct harm, that family trust collapses, and that sometimes can lead to disruptive rivalries. [319]

299 These terms apply equally to families linked by an adoptive relationship and those related by consanguinity.

http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html

Our answer to this is that there is no evidence that ACI interferes with family cohesion or solidarity any more than fornication, promiscuity, divorce, homosexuality, prostitution, adultery or even unemployment do. All these acts are no longer subject to criminal punishment, as they may have beeen under the old church law. 'The Lutheran Church of Sweden — which was the state religion until 2000 — has a registered membership of 5.9 million Swedish citizens as of 2018, equal to 57.7% of the total population. Note 1 )
Incest was a sin according to the Christian church, and according to church law, it was punished by various penances and "dispensations" (or "fines").

Jealousy occurs in all kinds of relationships. In today's society, a married woman can legitimately 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 children get divorced, become prostitutes, decide to abort a potential grandchild, or engage in same-sex marriage, and swear never to have children. Life is full of pain, but that's no excuse to for some people deny other people their basic human rights or prevent them from starting a family with the person they're in love with, even if that person is closely related. ACI couples sometimes have no other living relatives. They form a family. They deserve the respect and equal protection under the law. "The United Nations established in 1994 that the" family is the fundamental unit of society. "It is critical to the development and maintenance of its individual members."

4 - The genetics argument

The asserted justification of the criminalization of ACI sexual relations because of a purported higher risk of birth defects in children of ACI parents does not stand up to rational argument.

According to Dr. James A Roffee Paper (Incest in Scots Law: Missed Opportunities in the New Zealand Law Commission Review), (2)
"The genetic argument has been judged and disregarded in England and Wales. A number of reasons supporting such a conclusion include: that genetics was not used as a justification of the past; that there are great doubts about the greatly increased risk of a variety of Illnesses would justify an offense, and it would not matter to the achievement of the goals of protecting family and children, if the incest law were justified by genetic defects of potential offspring and thus overriding the principle of sexual autonomy, this would not just be one relatively remote problem, but also has the added effect of making a mistake caused to offspring illegal. "
"Since all mating couples have a 2-3% chance of having a child with a birth defect (consanguineous couples are only marginally higher), the consistency of the law would criminalize "all bad fruit-producing sexual intercourse" and would thus criminalize a large number of sexual acts that produces children with birth defects. It would, of course, be unfair to convict the parents of the 6% of children born birth defects every year worldwide. So why lock up a tiny number of people in ACI relationships who are only slightly more likely to have a child with a birth defect than someone in the general population?"
The New Zealand Law Commission document mentions the genetic argument as the reason for the continuation of the incest law in New Zealand, but ends with this approval:
"Logically, genetics can not be the sole determinant, because contraception can prevent the birth of children in such relationships." (3)
Law professor Joachim Renzikowski(4) said: "Criminal law is not there to protect morality."
In countries where the offense had been abolished, there had been no increase in incest.
"You can not protect a child from the way it is conceived, otherwise there are many high-risk groups that should be banned from having children: women of advanced age, smokers, alcoholics or people with relatively common hereditary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. "In the fall of Leipzig, incest did not destroy a family, it only started in the first place," says Renzikowski. "The rule of law does not collapse if we show a little grace."

Conclusion

There are no valid reasons to sharply discriminate against the ACI section of the Community on the basis of: 1. public opinion; 2. Protection of the child and the family 3. Solidarity of the family and the community 4. Argument of genetic safety.
The law of incest in Swedish should be reformed so that ACI is no longer a crime.
The Swedish government, as an alternative solution should look to education, 'the same solution used to combat the risk of HIV infection and various other harms. Public health groups could discourage incest to prevent it becoming a recurring pattern... It is much easier to promote awareness of the harms caused by this type (multi-generational) than to attempt coercion'. (5) To further quote from Clare Kasemet of Stanford University "The government should consider changing its measures in the manner outlined above, rather than continue to enforce unreasonable laws. The current laws have lasted as long as they have simply because consensual incestuous couples are too few in number to raise awareness of their plight effectively." (ibid)


Notes
(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Sweden
(2) https://www.academia.edu/28081096/Incest_in_Scots_Law_Missed_Opportunities_in_the_Scottish_Law_Commission_Review
(3) http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html
(4) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6424337.stm
(5) Kasemet, Clare 'Should Consensual Incest Between Consanguineous Adults Be Restricted? Intersect, Volume 2, Number 1 ( 2009 )