Pedophiles to launch political party
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.
The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its Web site it would be officially registered Wednesday, proclaiming: "We are going to shake The Hague awake!"
The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.
"A ban just makes children curious," Ad van den Berg, one of the party's founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.
"We want to make pedophilia the subject of discussion," he said, adding the subject had been a taboo since the 1996 Marc Dutroux child abuse scandal in neighboring Belgium.
"We want to get into parliament so we have a voice. Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals," Van den Berg told Reuters.
The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on soft drugs, prostitution and gay marriage, was shocked by the plan.
An opinion poll published Tuesday showed that 82 percent wanted the government to do something to stop the new party, while 67 percent said promoting pedophilia should be illegal.
"They make out as if they want more rights for children. But their position that children should be allowed sexual contact from age 12 is of course just in their own interest," anti-pedophile campaigner Ireen van Engelen told the AD daily.
Right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders said he had asked the government to investigate whether a party with such "sick ideas" could really be established, ANP news agency reported.
Kees van deer Staaij, a member of the Christian SGP party, also demanded action: "Pedophilia and child pornography should be taboo in every constitutional state. Breaking that will just create more victims and more serious ones."
The party wants private possession of child pornography to be allowed although it supports the ban on the trade of such materials. It also supports allowing pornography to be broadcast on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.
Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.
The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public and promotes legalizing all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.