Friday, April 13, 2012

The Unjust Prosecution of Patrick Stuebing

Will you be spending the weekend with your loved one(s), with no fear of law enforcement barging in to break you up and prosecute you, or worse? If so, good for you. But there are many places in the world where someone can be imprisoned, or worse, for being who they are and loving the people they do. Sometimes it is because they have more than one spouse, with the consent of all. Other times, it is because they are with someone of the same gender. In the case of Patrick Stuebing  and so many others, it is because the lovers are close genetic relatives.

Imagine... the government telling you that you can't be with another consenting adult. As I noted  in a post yesterday, the so-called European Court of Human Rights again made a mockery of its name by denying Stuebing the basic human right of freedom of association and the right to love. As you may recall, Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski were not raised together, and this appears to be a case of Genetic Sexual Attraction.

Here's the report at
Stuebing, who was convicted of incest and spent three years in prison, did not meet his natural sister until he tracked down his family as an adult.

He had been adopted as a child and only made contact with his natural relatives in his 20s.

The siblings grew close after their mother died.
Three years in prison. For simply loving someone. That is an injustice.

The law against incest is based partly on the increased likelihood of disabled children being produced by the union.

Two of the couple's children do have disabilities.

However, their lawyer argued that there is also a greater risk when disabled people have children, or with older women, but such circumstances are not banned.
Germany has an ugly history with eugenics.

But the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said the German prohibition of incest for brothers and sisters does not violate the fundamental right to protection of family life.

Absurd! It is the law that tore apart a family and has oppressed many others!

Rob Williams reported at
The case had led to calls for Germany to change the laws on consensual sexual relations between adult relatives in order to no longer make them illegal.

France, Turkey, Japan and Brazil have all amended their laws on relationships between adult family members.
And notice... they didn't disappear from the face of the Earth, did they?
The ECHR said the main basis of punishment for incestuous relationships was “the protection of marriage and the family”, and because it blurs family roles.

Ah, Discredited Argument #19. So then, are family members denied the freedom to work together, too? Doesn't that blur family roles? Why not let them love each other the way they choose?

This report by Ivan Delibasic at notes that there is still hope...

The verdict is subject to appeal before the Grand Chamber of the Court, whose decision would put an end to the case.

The Grand Chamber should do the fair thing and rule for relationship rights, including full marriage equality.

Here's another good point...
The issue is specifically sensitive in Germany, where during the Nazi regime eugenics laws were in place, prohibiting procreation among disabled people and, accordingly, disabled Germans were sent to concentration camps. Having a law which criminalises sexual intercourse which is likely to yield disabled offspring would be widely regarded as discriminatory and could hardly survive scrutiny of ECHR. Besides, eugenics has been generally discarded as contrary to human rights, but still kept in certain institutes of law, such as exceptions in prohibition of abortion, matrimonial prohibitions and consensual intercourse.
We could be really safe and criminalize all heterosexual intercourse. But the fact is, most instances of intercourse between close relatives do not result in the birth of a disabled child.

Delibasic shows why the ruling is scary...

Implications of the ruling could, therefore, be interpreted in two different ways; that laws linking procreation with eugenics are in line with the Human Rights Convention and that states have the right to violate individuals' “right to respect for private and family life” to prescribe morals. Either way you look at it, from a purely legal viewpoint, it does not seems very European.
Finally, there is reason (instead of hate) found at

Following Thursday's decision, one German politician made national headlines by calling for the ban on incest between adult siblings to be lifted. Speaking to the tabloid Bild, Hans-Christian Ströbele, a member of the Green Party in the Bundestag, the federal parliament, said: "Two grown up people should be able to decided for themselves whether they want to have sex with each other -- assuming, of course, that they love each other and it happens voluntarily and there is no form of dependency in the relationship." 
Agreed, although I would drop the "two." The article then goes on to quote newspaper editorials that support relationship rights, including ones in Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Tageszeitung.

All of the criticism of the lovers is nothing new, and has all be countered in this list of answers to Discredited Arguments.

Someday, German law enforcement and this European court will look back at the prosecution of consenting adults for loving each other and be deservedly embarrassed of their bigotry.

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  1. If this was a CONSENSUAL relationship, all I have to say is "ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS!"

  2. Are you plain stupid or just dumb. Didn't you read that two of their children are disabled. Oh yes, we should allow this because two siblings fell in love. Have you never heard of the incest taboo. It's there for a reason. Incest multiplies genetic defects. Even lions in the wild banish all maturing adolocent males from the pride to preserve genetic diversity. The next step will be for men to marry their own daughters because the "fell in love". How are web sites like this allowed to continue. The Mosaic law forbade incest under penalty of death. Don't defend perversion, you knuckleheads.

    1. This comment deserved its own entry, which I posted here.


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