Monday, July 28, 2014

A Texas Couple Denied Marriage Equality Under the Law

By my count, this is the thirty-second ongoing relationship I've covered through exclusive interviews in which the lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and are denied the freedom to marry and have that marriage treated equally under the law.

Jake and Alice are consenting adults who have a passionate love for each other. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love.

Read the interview below and ask yourself if there is one good reason these two consenting adults should be denied their rights or should have to hide. [Bumping up due to a short update at the end.]


FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe your background.

Jake: I am a 20-year-old male from Miami, Florida currently relocated to the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. I am white, 6'1" with brown hair and green eyes, I consider myself to be attractive. I have always been active and involved in various sports. We live in a nice and quiet town in the suburbs I would describe us as upper-class.

Alice: I'm 35, the mother of one son. I work in real estate. I currently live with my son. I became pregnant at the age of 15. After my son was born, his father decided to leave and hasn't been a part of either of our lives since.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Invisible Asterisk

Sometimes, when someone writes (or says) that they support the freedom to marry or, marriage equality, or #Marriage4All, or “love is love” or something like “The sex lives of consenting adults is nobody else’s business.,” there is an invisible asterisk. You know, one of these ==> *

What might really be going on is this…

“Consenting adults should be free to marry each other.”*

*Unless you mean something I don’t like or think is disgusting, like polygamy, open marriage, or consensual adult incest.

I don’t do that. There is no asterisk in this statement…

I support the rights of an adult to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

There is no asterisk after “adult.” An “adult” includes any person, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion.

“Any and all” means “any and all”. If an adult woman can vote, be Secretary of State (or Prime Minister, which we don't have in the US), serve as a Governor, be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, sign contracts, enlist in the military, operate heavy machinery, be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty (which we do have in many places in the US), and can consent to group sex with three cage fighters she just met, it seems to me an adult woman should also be free to have sex with and/or marry any consenting adult(s), even if that means another woman, or two women, or two men, or a woman and a man, or a married man (not hidden from his existing spouse), or her sister, whether an adopted sister, stepsister, half sister, or full blood sister. All of this goes for men, too, of course.

This basic right means all adults having the same right to not marry at all, and to divorce, and to be free of domestic violence. The basic freedom of association should mean that adults can share the entirety of love, sex, residence, and marriaqe, or any of those without the others, and any civil union or domestic partnership that is offered. That’s a funny thing called… equality. There is no good reason to deny equality. Now is the time to get it done.
So, do you support full marriage equality, or marriage “equality”*?
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Facebook and Twitter and More

Have you joined the Facebook group yet? Join "I Support Full Marriage Equality."

You should also like this page, Full Marriage Equality, and we meant that.

Are we Facebook friends? I want to be friends with all who support full marriage equality and relationship rights for all adults. Here I am.

Are we connected on Twitter? Here I am.

Are we connected on Tumblr? Here I am.

If you don't want to connect, still feel free to send me a note. I can be reached at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frequently Asked Question: Why Do Polyamorists Get Married?

The question is asked as though the person asking assumes that actual monogamy is a requirement for marriage. It isn’t in most places, even though current marriage laws will only allow monogamy in the legal sense.

For the purpose of this question and answer, I will include any form of honest nonmonogamy, or any label applied, such as open relationship, open marriage, swinging, swapping, polyamory, polyfidelity and polygamy.

Why do swingers get married?

Why do people in open relationships get married?

Why do polyamorous people get married?

The short answer is: For the same reason most other people get married. They want to get married, they think it is the best thing to do at that time in life, or they’re pressured.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Consanguinamory and Reproduction

One of the most common reasons given to object to the right to consanguineous relationships is what I call the "mutant baby" argument. Even some people who support the right to consanguinamory and have even engaged in consanguineous sex themselves join with bigots in being strongly against close relatives having children together because of prejudiced backlash or the increased risk of birth defects.

In regards to the prejudiced backlash, the answer is not to let bigots have their way. It is for bigots to lose their power to bully, prosecute, and break up homes. Don't want children of consanguineous parents to have a hard time? Do not give them a hard time.

In regards to the increased risk of birth defects, scientific understanding is often lacking.

Most sexual encounters do not result in a birth. Many people who have relationships or marry never have genetic children together; some people in consanguinamorous relationships choose not to. So, we must recognize the differences between sex, marriage, parenting, and reproduction, and not ban the first three because of concerns about the last one.

But let's deal with that last one.

Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. There are happy, healthy, bright, attractive people born to close relatives who are productive members of society. We all know some, whether we know it or not, and whether they know it or not. It is that common. (Sometimes, they were conceived by an abuser, but often, not by an abuser but by mutual lovers.) We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. For example, it is entirely legal in the US and most other places for someone with Huntington's Disease to date, have sex, marry, and have genetic children. How can such rights be denied to people who are genetically healthy, simply because they are close relatives?

It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of genetic problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. (UPDATE: Please see this wonky elaboration on Tumblr, written by a Friend of FME.) There are US states and there are countries where consanguinamory is not illegal or at least it isn't prosecuted. Sweden will legally marry half-siblings in some circumstances. A comparison of the rate of genetic problems in these places to places that criminalize and actively prosecute consanguinamory reveals no discernible increase in genetic problems in the places that embrace this relationship right.

If a natural talent or gift runs in the family, the children born to consanguineous parents will be more likely to inherit and manifest that beneficial result as well; a birth benefit. But there are increased odds of problem with births to older parents, too. There's no stigma assigned to that, and it isn't illegal for older people to date, have sex, marry, and have genetic children together.

Anyone concerned about these things should have genetic testing and counseling. People who are not close relatives can pass along health problems, too.

The "birth defects" argument also implies that people with disabilities or some other birth defect are living lives so terrible that they should never have been born at all. Yet, there are many such people who are leading happy, fulfilling, productive lives.

But a current problem, in some (not all) cases, is that in giving birth, consanguineous parents will be outing themselves to someone who is prejudiced, and there will now be evidence of their (in some places) illegal love that can be used against them.

There are consanguinamorous parents happily raising their healthy children together. But some consanguinamorous relationships face very real threats. Again, the answer is to stop the persecution and prosecution. There is no good reason to deny consenting adults their equal protection of having their relationship and reproductive rights.

Consanguinamorous or not, anyone engaging in heterosexual intercourse should be aware of the possibility of pregnancy, the various forms of birth control and other options available, and the realities if pregnancy, birth, and raising children.

With all of that in mind, let's look at this thread on a consensual incest discussion board. (The discussion is explicit, so if you have a problem with that, you are warned.)

carebear82 wrote…

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Pursuing is Better Than Blackmailing

This was written to

I’m a 26 year old male. I fantasize about having sex with my mom.

As do many other sons and daughters... sex with their mothers, not necessarily the letter writer's.
This incest feeling was cultivated in my mind the day when I accidentally caught my mother getting f---ed by my friend.

That can happen. Was it really an accident?
Though it was a very disturbing scene for me during the initial days, as time passed by I started loving the thought of my mom being used by my friend.

Used? I thought sex was supposed to be mutually enjoyable.
Now the question is: in your opinion is it OK to approach my mom saying that I want to have sex with her, as she knows that I know about her infidelity with my friend and I still hide it from my dad?

Hmm. Is he sure his father doesn't know about it? The letter writer may be surprised. Let's assume that mom doesn't want dad to know. Blackmail in a situation like this is a no-no.

It is sounding to me like this is not about a love for, or attraction to, his mother so much as jealousy about his friend. Forget blackmail. If this is not about jealousy but rather genuinely wanting her, wanting to play or make love with her, my advice would be to talk with her about her interest in younger men (implied) and what kind of arrangement she has with dad. She may have an interest in the letter writer. Maybe his friend was his surrogate. Then again, she may have no interest in going there with her son, and if that is the case, that needs to be respected, even if she is violating an agreement with her husband (which she may not be.) I've written before with my advice for making an approach.

I know some people get off on blackmail fantasies, including when it comes to consanguineous sex, but it isn't a good idea in real life.

In case I haven't made it clear, I have no problem whatsoever with a grown man (and he is a grown man) and his mother (genetic, adoptive, or step) entering into a consensual sexual relationship.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

How Genetic Sexual Attraction is Not Incest

Imagine a man and woman meet in a bar. They've never met before. They go outside for a smoke. They get into an argument and the jerk slugs her.

That is assault. But is it domestic violence?

No? What if I told you that unbeknownst to them, they have the same genetic father, a sperm donor neither one has met?

Is it domestic violence then? No?

What if... instead of slugging her, he wasn't a jerk and instead romanced her for the evening and they ended up having passionate sex.

Is that incest?

You can say it is incest biologically, but not sociologically. They were not raised together. They aren't even aware they are related yet.

Things like this have happened. Some people who experience Genetic Sexual Attraction had no idea they were genetically related before they met, fell in love, had sex, or even had children together. Even so, people ignorant of GSA or Genetic Attraction are scoffing at the defendant's statement in this case. Granted, they were apparently aware of their relation before their relationship involved statutory rape (since the age of consent in California is 18, not 16, as it is in many US states.) But that GSA happens to people unaware of their genetic relation demonstrates that GSA is real.

Judgmental finger-waggers cite the genetic connection as to why this is incest. This is because "she raised him" is not an option for why they are upset. The finger-waggers like to use that one when, say, a man and his grown stepdaughter have sexual relationship. Some finger-waggers go even further. Let's say that instead of starting a relationship with his grown stepdaughter, his son, whom the stepdaughter never lived with, meets her as an adult and starts a relationship with her. Some of the finger-waggers still say this is wrong, even if the man is no longer married to her mother.

People would use just about any argument to condemn a relationship with which they are not comfortable. But we'd all be a lot better off if we put aside our prejudices and recognized that consenting adults should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage. Even if someone is disgusted. We'd also be better off if we recognized that Genetic Sexual Attraction does exist, and it is a mitigating factor when, say, a 32 year-old woman breaks California's age of consent barrier with a 16 year-old.

The problem with calling the Atkinson case incest is that incest conjures up images of (in this case) a woman grooming the boy she is raising to be her assault victim. This is a case of Genetic Sexual Attraction and statutory rape. She did not raise him. She was not his guardian. This was a case where one of the participants was not a legal adult, able to legally consent. When the participants are consenting adults, I prefer the term consanguinamory to distinguish loving, consensual sex from images of some vile old man raping an prepubescent girl. Rape and love are not the same things.

There is no good reason why adults who are not violating existing vows to others, who are right for each other, should feel a need to refrain from being together in whatever way they want. Unfortunately, laws and prejudices in many places still need to catch up with reality. But what about finding support from others in the same situation?

Genetic Sexual Attraction is a phenomenon that may or may not actually lead to sex. However, if sex is involved, it is not incest from the sociological perspective, but still may be considered incest by outsiders, including law enforcement, as it is incest in the genetic sense. It is very easy for people who haven't experience GSA or witnessed it happening first-hand to scoff and deny it's reality. But ignorance does not determine reality. For more, read this.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Accept That Your Grown Children Are Adults

Dear Prudence column got a polyamory question. Stuck in the Middle With Him wrote... [I'm bumping this up because it is as relevant as ever as this can happen any time of the year.]
Our daughter "Amanda" lives in another state and has been married to "Jacob" for several years. Theirs is an open relationship, and I have always known that. My husband, however has kept his head in the sand regarding this. My daughter has a boyfriend, "Tom,” whom Jacob knows about and has a great friendship with. They are all planning to come to our home this Christmas, but my husband insists that Tom (who has visited us previously) is not welcome. Do I tell our daughter, son-in-law, and daughter's boyfriend to make other holiday plans? My opinion is that they are all consenting adults, there are no children involved, and always behave appropriately in public.
The letter writer's husband is being a jerk. The letter writer sounds like a reasonable person. I would be interested in knowing if they have any other children, and if the non-spousal partners and friends of those children are also banned? I would also be interested in knowing how Jacob and Tom's families are about the situation. Maybe Amanda, Jacob, and Tom should go to see them for the holidays? Or they can host their own holiday get-togethers and invite all who will come?

Yoffe's reply...
Perhaps a generation from now many families will be having a very polyamorous Christmas. But we aren’t there yet. I support your conclusion that your daughter and the men in her life are consenting adults and as long as they behave with decorum, what they do in private is none of your business. But they are also open about their open relationship, so I can understand your husband’s point of view that he attended Amanda’s wedding to Jacob, where she vowed to forsake all others, including every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Not everyone makes that vow, and not everyone who makes that vow means that they will have no involvement whatsoever with anyone else. Also, agreements are mutually modified all of the time, and if Amanda and Jacob mutually agreed to their situation, they that's all that should matter.

Suggest this year she come only with Jacob. Surely she knows there are simply occasions when she must make a choice about which man to bring.
Hmm. Tom is part of Amanda's life. This is a rejection of Amanda's autonomy over her own sexuality and social life, and a rejection of Jacob as well, since he agreed to this. Parents aren't always going to like the decisions their adult children make, but those grown children are going to live their own lives, and their parents can either be a part of it or not.
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What's So Scary About Equality?

If you're not connected to me on Tumblr, or don't at least have my Tumblr blog bookmarked, well, I'm there, too, and there's content there that doesn't make it here.

Someone submitted this to me for response...
I want to thank you, you and thefinalmanifesto have completely changed my mind about polyamory, and marriage equality. I think I hadn't let myself consider it seriously before because I felt like that would be validating conservatives' "slippery slope" arguments about same-sex marriage. You've put a human face on the issue, and made me realize I need to stop being intellectually dishonest. I've got a lot of learning ahead of me. Thanks and continue to be awesome!
This is what I wrote...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Will New MTV Fiction Series Deal With Consanguinamory?

Happyland - H 2014
During Friday's Television Critics Association summer press tour stop, producers and the show's young stars defended the twist at the end of the pilot that reveals that the show's leading lady and her new young suitor may be brother and sister — after they've kissed.

Kissed?!? Clutch the pearls!

Happyland, from Ben Epstein (Daddy's Girls), is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country's most popular theme parks and those who work there. The project centers on Lucy, a cynical teen whose mother makes a living as a fairy-tale princess, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world.
There's a lot of potential there, I think.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kardashians Continue Consanguinamory Themes

We've mentioned the Kardashians before (see here). If you don't already know, I will try to make this simple. The Kardashians are a well-off American family who have had several "reality television" shows that have consisted of following the Kardashians around. Also, they are tabloid gossip fodder and there have been some elaborate high-profile weddings and a very short marriage or two involving National Basketball Association players and pop music stars. The original patriarch of the family was attorney Robert (not to be confused with his son by the same name), who passed away after helping to successfully defend his friend O.J. Simpson against double murder charges. Olympic track & field gold medalist Bruce Jenner married the same woman Robert had (not at the same time... we're not talking bigamy here.) What seemed to launch the younger Kardashians' fame was a homemade "sex tape" involving one of them.

OK, I spent way too much time and space on that. But there you go.

I bring them up again because some of them continue to invoke themes of consanguineous sex in their public communication. See this recent bit at by , who was so disgusted that she just had to write about it.    

Rob and Khloe Kardashian being interviewed for Extra in Los Angeles April 2011 

I have a question. How many times do Rob and Khloe Kardashian have to joke about having sex with each other until it becomes funny? And when you find the answer, could you let Rob and Khloe know? Because they seem pretty determined to keep on doing it forever and ever no matter how uncomfortable it makes everyone else.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, Rob and Khloe are siblings. Full ones, presumably, meaning that barring any more revelations from Kris Jenner about whether she did or didn’t sleep with O.J. Simpson nine months before Khloe was born, we can presume that both children were made by the same sperms and came out of the same womb. Brother and sister. Try to hold that fact in your brain as you read the series of tweets that the two of them exchanged yesterday. (Just not too tightly because ew.)
Rhiannon goes on to quote tweets and again express her disgust. There are many people who've had sex with a sibling. (I shouldn't have to say it: sex means consensual. Otherwise it is not sex, it is assault or abuse.) One of the last things they need is another person in the media expressing their disgust about it.

If I had to guess, it would be that there's nothing going on between Rob and Khloe. They are doing this for attention because it gets written about on websites. Most people who are involved in consanguinamory hide that fact because of all of the bigotry, some of it codified in law. It's a sure thing that there are celebrities who are, or have been, involved with a sibling. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, a respected celebrity will be free to talk honestly about their ongoing love or their positive experiences without being persecuted for doing so. There is no good reason why anyone should have to hide such love.

If you have been involved, whether you're a celebrity or not, know that you're not alone. I, and others, are willing to listen to your troubles, fears, hopes, and successes in your love and to support you.
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Relationship Should Not Preclude Your Relationship

(I'm bumping this up because this happens more than people think.) Advice columnists obviously do not print all of the letters they get. Every once in a while, a major column will feature a letter of relevance to this blog. They probably get many they do not print. I was thinking about that recently when I was talking with someone about his past consanguinamorous relationship with his mother, and how he had corresponded with a well-known sex columnist. I'd wager they get a lot of questions about relationships that are still illegal or other discriminated against in many places. But today, we're dealing with a general advice column.

Here's a letter of interest to Dear Abby from DESERVES TO BE HAPPY IN FLORIDA...
My son and his wife, "Carole," have been married for two years. I was recently introduced to her father, "Ted," who has been alone for 13 years. Carole told me later in no uncertain terms that I cannot have a romantic relationship with her father. Then she repeated the same thing to him.
Unless Carole has legal guardianship over her father, she has no legal, social, or ethical standing to impose compliance with such a demand.

Do you think it's right for adult children to dictate to their parents who they can and cannot see? Ted and I are perplexed. We really like each other and would like to see where this relationship could go. We laugh easily together, cook in the kitchen well together, can talk for hours and generally are very compatible. We have both discussed our pasts and have been honest with each other. 
What kind of relationship Deserves is going to have with Ted should be entirely up to the two of them. Nobody else should get a say, and nobody else's relationship should interfere. In a word where in-laws can clash with each other, wouldn't be nice if more could get along so well?

Carole's objection could be to any potential lover for her father (which might be why he has been single for as long as he ha). It could be an objection to Deserves specifically. Or, it could be an objection to the idea of her father being with her mother-in-law. Whatever the case, Ted and Deserves have to decide if they are going to let Carole run their love lives.

I do not see anything wrong with making your daughter-in-law your stepdaughter, just like I don't see anything wrong with someone making their stepmother their mother-in-law.
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