Professor Appeals to MPs to Discard Ban on Incest

Fri May 21, 2004 - 12:15 pm EST

WELLINGTON, May 21, 2004 ( - New Zealand Members of Parliament are being asked to consider repealing a ban on incest. In a presentation by retired history professor Peter Munz to parliamentarians Wednesday, it was argued that the ban is unnecessary.

“Today, if siblings—against all odds - should fall in love with each other, they should be welcome to it,” Prof Munz stated, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Munz argued that the ban on incestual relations was a relic of primitive society. “In each tribe or society the woman must not be available for consumption, so to speak, at home. They must be kept and treasured as capital to be invested in fomenting relations with so-called foreigners,” he said.

In conclusion, Munz said, “It is therefore superfluous to make indulgence in incest between consenting adults, a criminal offence. . .(as) there are now better ways of winning friends and influencing them than to prohibit incest.”

In U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent to the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional Texas’ ban on sodomy last June, Scalia said, “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding,” he said.  Bowers vs. Hardwick was the 1986 Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of states to criminalize sodomy. Lawrence effectively overturned that decision.  Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition commented on a Utah man who used the Lawrence v. Texas decision to challenge the state’s polygamy ban. “Attorney John Bucher argued that if the government has no right to interfere with what homosexuals do in the privacy of their homes, then the state also has no right to interfere with a man who wishes to have multiple wives,” Sheldon wrote.  “This flawed logic could easily be extended to ‘consensual’ incest, prostitution, bestiality, and group sex orgies in the ‘privacy’ of a person’s home,” Sheldon argues. “Indeed, Zoophiles should be encouraged by the tortured thinking in Lawrence. After all, if a man can freely sodomize his sex partner in his home, why should the Zoophile’s love for dogs or sheep be criminalized?” Sheldon relates Princeton “ethicist” Peter Singer as an example, “who argued for an end to the ‘taboo’ against cross-species sex in an essay published in Nerve in 2001. Animal rights activist Singer believes that while we should not eat animals, it’s perfectly okay to have sex with them. One wonders if he would argue that barnyard animals can ‘consent’ to such activities.”  Read related coverage:  New Zealand Legalizes Prostitution   Supreme Court Justice Scalia Warns Texas Sodomy Ruling Will Lead to Homosexual Marriage [and Legalization of Incest]   Read Louis P. Sheldon’s opinion piece, at:

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