The government of France announced that it will move to prohibit sexual relationships with blood relatives for the first time since 1791.
Incest, blasphemy, and sodomy were decriminalized in 1791 as French revolutionary forces sought to remove Christian-inspired morality entrenched by the monarchy.
The topic had largely been taboo in France for decades until 2021, when Olivier Duhamel, a prominent political commentator, was accused of sexually abusing his teen stepson in the 1980s.
Duhamel admitted the accusations were true but did not face charges, as incest with a youth was not a crime then.
In a recent interview, Adrien Taquet, France‘s secretary of state for children, said the government would ban incest for the first time in more than 200 years. Sexual relations with relatives are currently legal in France unless children are involved.
Last year, French government brought in legislation making it a crime to have a sexual relationship with a close relative under the age of 18.
The new French law would criminalize incest even if both parties are over the age of 18.
While cousins would still be able to marry, the minister was unable to confirm whether stepfamilies would be included.
The minister said he was in favor of a “clear ban” which would bring France in line with most of European Union nations.
“Whatever the age, you don’t have sexual relations with your father, your son or your daughter,” the French government official insisted, adding “It is not a question of age, it is not a question of consenting adults. We are fighting against incest. The signals must be clear.”