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Monday, February 3, 2014

Will The Philippines Take a Step Backwards?

As reported by Xianne Arcangel at gmanetwork.com, lawmakers in the Philippines are considering legislation that would criminalize consanguinamory.
Incestuous affairs between family members 18 years old and above—even if done with consent—may soon be penalized if the proposed Anti-Incest bill is passed into law.
 
House Bill 3329, filed by Cagayan de Oro representative Rufus Rodriguez and his brother ABAMIN party-list representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr., seeks to penalize incest between consenting parties.
Very bad idea. Not only would it move the nation away from, rather than closer to, relationship rights for all adults, including full marriage equality, but criminalizing CONSENSUAL adult relationships will make it harder for law enforcement to stop ABUSERS because resources will be diverted AND witnesses and victims will be less willing to cooperate out of fear of law enforcement.
Rodriguez said in a statement on Sunday that an Anti-Incest law is needed to address the "rising" number of incestuous relationships occurring in families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
That doesn't actually say why they should be criminalized. And the number probably isn't rising. They are just becoming more aware of the reality that has always been there.
Under Articles 37 and 38 of the Family Code of the Philippines, incestuous marriages are void ab initio—from the beginning—for being contrary to public policy.
That needs to be dumped.
The Anti-Rape Law of 1997, meanwhile, imposes the death penalty for rape when the victim is under 18 years old and the offender is a relative within the third civil degree, or when the offender is the common-law spouse of the parent of the abused individual.
So children are already protected.
Under HB 3329, incestuous sexual relations with consent between ascendants and descendants of any degree, as well as between brothers and sisters whether of the full or half blood will be prohibited and considered unlawful.  
There is no good reason for this.
In-laws, stepparents and stepchildren, adoptive parents and their children, as well as collateral blood relatives, whether legitimate or illegitimate up to the fourth civil degree, are also banned from having incestuous affairs.
Ridiculous.
Violators shall be punished with prision correccional, or imprisonment for from six months to six years. 
Why? To whom are they a threat?
Jhoanna Ballaran of the manilatimes.net also covered this news.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults.
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