Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Decriminalising Incest Sparks Romania Row

BalkanInsight.com

A proposal not to prosecute consenting adults for incest has sparked controversy in Romania, with the Orthodox Church leading public opposition to the move. The Romanian Justice Ministry is considering a change in the law, so that parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters can be exempt from prosecution for incest as long as they are not forced and is based on mutual consent.

Furthermore, there is also the proposed legalisation of prostitution.

"We are proposing a change in the Criminal Code, so Romania's legislation can become closer legally to some other European Union members. Furthermore, incest is more a problem of social pathology than a penal one," said Catalin Predoiu, Romania's Justice Minister.

Not all Romanians accept the Justice's Ministry's arguments.

"Every person with normal behaviour should be against legalising incest and prostitutions. This is an abnominal, sinful act, against any morale. Such people need not only medical help but also to know they should face prison for their acts," says Lucian Apopei, a writer at the Lumina newspaper, edited by Romanian Orthodox Church.

At present, changes in Criminal Code are debated by judicial commissions from Romanian Parliament, and no date has been set yet for a parliament vote on the bill.

Currently all forms of incest in Romania are punishable by up to seven years in prison.

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