Incest could soon be legal in Germany. A government ethics committee says the ban is unacceptable as it doesn’t allow the right to sexual self-determination. The comments are in regard to a well-publicized relationship between a brother and sister.
Patrick Stuebing lived with his partner, Susan Karolewski, who turned out to be his sister and the couple had four children together, two of whom were disabled. They did not know each other when they were growing up, as they were raised separately. They only met when Stuebing was 24 and Karolewski was 16.
“Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo,” the German Ethics Council said in a statement on Wednesday. “The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family.”
Arguments to ban incest have also focused on the likely hood of children being born with disabilities, due to a lower gene pool. However, this was rejected by the council.
Speaking to CNN in 2007, Stuebing explained that he and his sister had fallen in love, and simply wanted to have their relationship legalized.
“We just want to lead a normal life,” he said. “People harass us all the time and call us ‘the incest couple’. They have no idea who we really are or how it all happened.”