A LOOPHOLE enabling de facto partners a legal defence to incest in Queensland through marriage is a step closer to being shut.Stepsiblings, adopted siblings, half-siblings, or full siblings... if they are all consenting adults or are minors close in age who are acting with mutual interest with no coercion, should not be subject to criminal charges or discrimination.
Two petitions against the defence, enacted in Queensland during 1997 to legalise "Brady bunch" relationships among step-siblings, have been lodged in Queensland Parliament.
Child safety advocate Beryl Spencer collected the 252 signatures after becoming closely involved with an Ipswich family in a case where the Court of Appeal quashed an incest conviction through this defence in 2008.Prosecute predators for abuse, neglect, assault, etc. Leave lovers alone. If the law allows her to consent to have group sex with five strangers in their 40s or 50s, should it prevent her from having sex with someone who married her mother? Either we take her ability to consent and her decisions over her own body seriously or we don't. I am not arguing against age of consent laws, but they should be applied consistently. Nobody has to think any given relationship or sexual encounter is a good idea to see that if others choose to do it, that should be their right.
The man was initially convicted after a trial in Ipswich for having sex with his de facto wife's 17-year-old daughter, making her above the consenting age but not yet an adult.
However, the Court of Appeal found the man and teen were "lawfully entitled to be married".
The Court of Appeal did find his actions "morally reprehensible" though, noting he regarded the girl as his daughter and she regarded him as her father.
Queensland, and Australia as a whole, should adopt relationship rights, including full marriage equality, for all. If someone does not have the right to decide with whom she can share her body and her love, what rights does she really have?
ADDITION: I should have noted that there are current, former, and future stepsiblings and stepparents/adult stepchildren who have had sex or ongoing romances. To criminalize their relationships is absurd. Also, what will the legal restrictions be? If a John legally weds Jane, it will be illegal for him to have sex with Jane's 30-year-old daughter Helen even though Jane is supportive? But it would still be legal for John to have sex with Jane one night and Helen the next and live with both of them as long as he doesn't legally wed Jane? Would two people who met in their late teens be forbidden from getting together because their parents then married? Isn't is much more simple and fair to stick to prosecuting assaults/molestation, rather than consensual sex?