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Are some consensual acts above the law?

Published:Wednesday | May 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM


One facet of the mandate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender envoy, Randy Berry, is to work to "overturn laws that criminalise private consensual sexual acts between adults".

This was clearly stated by Secretary of State John Kerry at Mr Berry's appointment, despite the attempt to deny it in the wake of public outrage at the Nicodemus visit to Jamaica.

In 2004, a German man, Armin Miewes, was convicted for the killing of a male Internet acquaintance who volunteered to participate in a sexual act, following which he would be killed and eaten.

The defence of the consensual nature of the act was rejected by the court. Miewes was found guilty of committing murder for the purpose of sexual pleasure, and the initial sentence of eight and a half years was later increased to life imprisonment.

Considering the three components of the activity, should all of these private consensual acts have been free from prosecution? And if not, what is the rational basis for deciding which voluntary consensual acts deserves to be criminalised?


Kingston 6