Sunday, February 11, 2018
Victimless Offenses are not Crimes
Same-sex sexual relationships have always been legal in Korea but not socially approved. This is true today and possibly more so because of a large number of Christians in society. Our president is also Catholic. An article in the Catholic Times is the explanation of a priest to a young man Peter, on what we mean by victimless offenses.
"When we talk about a sexual minority one idea that must be remembered is the 'victimless offense' category. After the French Revolution in 1791 in the Constitution victimless acts were no longer considered crimes. This included all acts of heresy, magic, witches, and same-sex sexual acts. They were victimless and no longer concern of the law.
Just because these minority sexual groups think differently than I do is no reason to punish them. This is a big step in understanding. Whether I like it or not is not the issue and can't be a reason for the punishment of these acts between consenting adults.
In Europe gradually these victimless offenses were accepted by society and homosexuality was no longer considered a crime. Peter, when I was a child in the 1970s I can remember when victimless acts were considered a crime and punished. Do you know this? I remember seeing this." Peter did not know how to answer.
"Long hair and miniskirts were not allowed. Police would measure the length of the hair and shortness of the skirts. (The priest saw the expression on the face of Peter and decided to discontinue these examples)
In Europe, there is no problem with homosexual acts between consenting adults. The number of marriages of same-sex couples also continues to grow. However, in many areas of the Middle East and Africa, it is illegal and in certain areas of the world, punishment is the death penalty. There is a difference in the way people in different cultures see human acts.
In Korea, same-sex marriage is not allowed. In Korean law any discrimination against those who are homosexual or lesbians is forbidden. Two celebrities who are gay and living together wanted to get married but they were refused. They filed a case against the ruling but the court has refused to hear it. This is still a cause for talk. No way to know how this will work out but the way society sees the gay life is changing greatly.
Twenty years ago you would never hear the issue discussed but now very much in public discussion.
If one thinks this is a development it's a development, on the other hand if one thinks it is the downfall of society that's what's thought. Peter, what do you think? Is this a development or a foreboding of ruin?"
"Um.... Father, isn't the forcing of an answer from me on sexual orientation a failure to respect my human rights?"