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Monday, May 23, 2016

Keeping Your Heart Warm in North Dakota

It was good to see that wday.com ran something by on polyamorous people in the Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota. As we like to point out, polyamorous people are everywhere.

The polyamorous community is now reaching out, showing that they are here, should be accepted and that it's more common than you may think.
Good! A married couple is depicted.
“Yes, I have played wingman for my husband. It's a thing.”
Of the many potential advantages of polyamorous is having such good help in approaching a new potential partner. For example, if you're a man who is trying to approach a woman, having another woman vouch for you and observe the interaction to see if you're missing signals, you're more likely to make a connection.
Each currently has five relationships, a dynamic they're open with in their church where Ashton teaches Sunday school, with their family and friends and with their young daughter Haven.

“She doesn't know anything more about our love life than she would if we were monogamous,” said Ashton.


With the unique family dynamic, Haven has had to explain it to friends.


“I just say one person loves more than one person that's not in the family,” said Haven.

For their situation, that's a good explanation.
As a once monogamous married man, Andrew has made polyamorous activism his passion with the recent creation of a group called PolyAware.
He estimates about 1,000 people in Fargo-Moorhead are polyamorous and he wants others who are interested to know there is a place to learn more and feel accepted.
It's good to have placed to turn.
In the next few months, Polyaware plans to expand their group to Grand Forks because of interest.

In the meantime, they hold a presentation every fourth Sunday of the month at the pride center in Fargo.
Anyone, whether you’re interested in a polyamorous lifestyle or just want to learn more, can attend.
We have information here.
Thanks to wday.com for running that!
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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Are We Looking For You?

We may be looking for you. If you are someone who is described below, please contact us a fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com or http://www.facebook.com/fullmarriageequality

1) We are looking for attorneys who are willing to represent consenting adults facing discrimination in criminal and civil law for having relationships.

2) We are looking for counselors and therapists in general, and one in particular, who are willing to help adults who face prejudice, discrimination, and even hostility from family due to consensual relationships with other adults.

3) We are looking for people willing to tell their stories about the love and relationships.

4) We are looking for anyone else willing to advance the cause of civil rights relating to gender, sexuality, and relationship diversities, and included in that, we'd like to hear from graphic artists who are interested in making contributions. Also, have you joined or started a GSA or diversity club at your school?

5) We are looking for you if you've been in videos found online in which you are depicted as having consanguineous sex.
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Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Invisible Asterisk

Sometimes, when someone writes (or says) that they support the freedom to marry or, marriage equality, or #Marriage4All, #LoveMustWin,  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, May 20, 2016

Myth: I Don’t Know Anyone Who Has Experienced GSA

Reality: You might not know of them experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction, but chances are, there is someone in your life who has experienced GSA.

Think it through. Someone experiences GSA in up to 50% of all introductions/reunions of close genetic relatives who were not raised together or by one another, provided the genders and sexual orientations are compatible. Think of all of the people in your extended family and circle of friends, your classmates, coworkers, neighbors, fellow members of clubs or religious congregations, and the people who regularly provide you with a service or are a regular customer of yours. You might not know it in every case, especially since people might want to keep these things private, but a few of them are adopted or gave a child up for adoption, a few were conceived by sperm or egg donation or provided sperm or egg donations, a few were separated from a parent (and often half siblings) due to divorce or breakup or the relationship being a fling, one night stand, or affair. So some of them have had a genetic parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, nephew, or niece from whom they were separated enough that if, and when, they were introduced or reunited post-puberty, someone experienced GSA.

Just because one person experiences GSA doesn’t mean it is reciprocal. Even if reciprocated, it might not lead to consanguinamory. Even if it leads to consanguinamory, you might not find out about it.

There are certainly famous people you know of, perhaps even admire, who have experienced GSA.

The mobility of human beings has increased dramatically with transportation innovations, systems, and affordability. Gamete and embryo donations have become an increasingly common reality. Those things have meant more people maturing separated from close genetic relatives. Social networking is bringing people together, as is the same increased mobility that had them apart. These things mean more people experiencing GSA.

Since GSA almost always involves some pain (even if only due to external prejudice), people who experience it need compassion, not condemnation.

If you know or think it is possible that someone specific in your life has dealt with GSA, this might be of some help.

Even if you don't personally know anyone who has experienced GSA, shouldn't all adults have their rights when it comes to their relationships?

See Myth: People in GSA Relationships Don’t Need the Freedom to Marry

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Is There Any Sexuality You Don't Support?


Someone asked me that question privately.

If by sexuality, one means gender identity or sexual orientation… I support people being free to be themselves, as long as they don’t force themselves on others (like predators of children).

Regarding sex…

I believe in the basic human rights of freedom of religion, association, expression, and assembly. Anything consenting adults do together should be up to them, and should not be something to be subjected to criminal prosecution, discrimination, or bullying. Nor should minors close in age be prosecuted or forced into “treatment” for having sex with each other.

I don't consider rape, assault, or child molestation to be "sex." I'm all for prosecuting for those.

I think if someone is at the age of consent for sex, that age of consent should also apply to being recorded or photographed. If someone wants to make videos of themselves to take pictures of themselves or let someone else do it, and they want to show it to others, and another person of the age of consent wants to view it, fine.

Regarding marriage…

I support the right to marry for everyone. An adult should be free to marry any and all consenting adults.

But…

My support of legal rights and protections does not mean I personally support all sex or marriages.

For example, I think it is a bad idea for, say, a woman who needs monogamy to have sex on the first date, and if a friend like that wants my "support" I would tell her no, it is a bad idea.

Another example… I think it is safe to say we’ve all known people who announced they were going to get married and we cringed (if only inside) because we didn’t think they were right for each other, or perhaps in a place in their lives where they were ready to be married.

I am also against cheating (but again, I don’t think it should be a criminal matter). Cheating is when someone breaks an existing vow to another through action, rather than informing the person(s) with whom they have the vow that the agreement is ending. There are married couples who have agreements that allow one or both of them to have sex with other people, and per those agreements doing so would not be cheating.

However, if someone tells me they are happily involved with their close biological relative, or two close biological relatives, and none of them are cheating to do it, then yes, I support them. I support happy, healthy same-gender relationships, interracial relationships, polyamorous relationships, intergenerational relationships (adults), and consanguinamorous relationships.

I am sex-positive. Sex is a good thing for many reasons. We’d be better off if more people were having more sex and sex that was more satisfying to them. So generally, I “support sex.” Those who don’t think sex is a good thing or talk as though it isn’t may be doing it wrong, or may have forgotten what it is like.

What about you? Are you sex-positive?
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Starting or Joining a GSA at Your School

It's not too early to think about the next school year. For most schools in the US, August or September will bring a new school year. Not only are school years a time for intense personal discovery and growth, but they are usually a time of intense pressures, including the pressure to conform, and bullying.

For those reasons, Gay-Straight Alliances, or Gender and Sexuality Associations, or Diversity clubs are critical.

If your school doesn't have such an organization, consider starting one. See here and here.

If you school already has one, consider joining and/or supporting it. Student, faculty, and parental support are all needed.

Whether starting or joining, please do what you can to make the organization welcoming, inclusive, and accepting of all whose identity, sexual orientation, relationship orientation, or existing relationship (or that of their parents) makes them a target for discrimination or bullying.






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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Myth: People in GSA Relationships Don’t Need the Freedom to Marry

Reality: Some people in Genetic Sexual Attraction relationships need and want the freedom to marry, and there is no good reason for them to be denied their right to marry if they’re consenting adults.

Because people experiencing GSA are close genetic relatives, some people argue that they don’t need their right to marry because they’re already family. However, they might not be considered family under the law, although in a loathsome double-standard, they may still be subject to discriminatory laws based on their genetic relation.

Those who are already sharing their lives as spouses, or want to, often do need the same rights, benefits, and protections as any other spouses. Also, marriage automatically provides for next-of-kin status, which is especially important when there is some discord between the lovers and others who are legally recognized as family. For example, if brothers Adam and Steve have been living as spouses for years and Steve winds up in a coma in the hospital, Steve’s estranged, bigoted, adoptive parents would likely be able to usurp Adam’s rights to make decisions.

An adult should be free to marry any and all consenting adults.

See Myth: Acting on GSA Needs to be Criminalized, Prosecuted, and Stopped

See Myth: I Don’t Know Anyone Who Has Experienced GSA
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Experienced in Consanguinamory, or An Ally? Join the Network

There is a growing supportive network for people who are in, or have been in, consanguinamorous relationships, and their allies.

Despite how common these experiences and relationships are, people often feel alone, and sometimes they are very reluctant to reach out, or their lover or lovers do not want them to reach out for fear of persecution, prosecution, or some other negative result. However, there are many of us who would like to be in contact with you and will keep your confidence, as we've done for so many others, including these folks. So whether you have been involved, know someone who has, or are an ally who doesn't even know who around you has been involved, please reach out.

I will list other places and people below. If you want to get in contact with me, you can do so by writing me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com or contacting me on Facebook or on Twitter or on Tumblr.

We have a Public group on Facebook, I Support Full Marriage Equality, where you can find many friendly people even if you don't join the group, which is about ALL adult relationships.

Jane has a great blog and Tumblr and podcast. If you do nothing else and do not want to be in contact on an ongoing basis, please at least fill out Jane's survey.

The Final Manifesto blogspot is a great blog to bookmark and follow for general marriage equality issues, including those dealing with consanguinamory, and there's the related Tumblr, too.

Cristina has Consanguinamory Lily's Gardener and the related Tumblr, Consanguinamory, and this Wordpress blog.

This Tumblr is by a woman who met her half brother and experienced GSA.

Also on Tumblr is A Blog on Consanguinamory.

Another Consanguinamory blog is here and Supporting Consanguinamory is here.

A supportive Tumblr also called Consanguinamory is here.

Author Diane Rinella has written some remarkable novels dealing with this subject, and she's written many other good things, too. Here's her page on this subject.

Join Kindred Spirits, a free, supportive forum, for serious discussions of the issues surrounding consanguinamory.

So, bookmark, follow, join, and send messages as appropriate to join this network. You're not alone, and you can make a difference!

If I've missed your blog, forum, website, or other media or social media account that treats consanguinamorous people with respect, let me know.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

When Middle-Aged Siblings Get Together

[Bumping this up,]

Some people find this blog from doing a search. Today's interesting search phrase is...
Causes of middle age sibling incest
I'm assuming this is about sex, which is consensual, rather than assault.

I've largely explained the "causes" in this posting, which was about a father and adult daughter.

I have no way of knowing if the person doing the search is such a lover, has a partner who is involved, is a family member or friend, or someone else.

What I do know is that sex between siblings is common enough that everyone knows someone who is, or has been involved.

Since the previous posting I linked was about an adult and their parent, I'll add a few comments here specifically dealing with siblings.

For some middle-aged siblings, the origin of their sexual interaction goes back to having sexual contact as teenagers, which could have stopped for many reasons, including someone else intervening and stopping it, fear of persecution, the siblings finding other partners, going their separate ways for education and employment, and other reasons. Others have their first sexual contact with each other as middle-aged adults.

Having sex with each other in middle age, whether it is new or a resuming of past experiences, could be prompted by a variety of factors. Whether bored or dissatisfied in their relationships with others (and looking for a "safe" person to cheat with); looking to traverse what is, for them, new sexual territory whether they are single or in an open relationship; nostalgic for the past; looking for a "safe" partner who loves them after a breakup or divorce; brought into each other's presence and comforting each other after the death of a parent (or sibling or friend); one caring for the other through recovery from an injury or illness; just plain ol' curiosity or horniness combined with availability. Sometimes it is the first time the siblings have really been in each other's lives at all, and they feel a powerful attraction.

What causes these relationships isn't as important as respecting adults and their relationship and sexual rights. If they aren't cheating by sneaking behind a partner's back, violating an existing agreement, then siblings loving each other this way, especially as middle-aged adults, shouldn't be a matter for law enforcement nor finger-waggers. They are people who at least somewhat share a background, and are likely close in age, and the love each other. Be happy for them!

See:

Ten Myths About Sibling Consanguinamory

Interviews with Siblings in Sexual Relationships







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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Falsely Invoking Science to Justify Bigotry

The "genetics argument" against consanguineous sex and marriage is usually a smokescreen that misuses science to justify bigotry.  There are some people sincerely concerned about children born to consanguineous parents (many of whom would have their concerns eased with a little education on the matter) but most of the people who use the "What about the children?" argument are simply trying to excuse their prejudice, because it sounds better than "I don't like the idea of it."

Ask someone who invokes Discredited Argument #18 if they drop opposition when it comes to a relationship that will not create biological children, such as two cisgender brothers, or a sister with a brother who has had a vasectomy, or siblings over the age of 60. Most will be stumped or will say no, they still oppose such relationships, perhaps citing another Discredited Argument, probably #1 or 3.

Another way of exposing this as a smokescreen is to ask them if they support the same restrictions on an unrelated heterosexual couple in which the woman is 40 years of age.

The fact is, we don't prevent people with known, serious genetic diseases, or who have lived all of their lives in the same neighborhood with pollutants known to cause birth defects, or who have taken medications known to cause birth defects from dating, having sex, marrying, having children, etc., so why deny rights to consanguineous lovers who are more likely to have healthy children together or won't be having children at all?

Everyone knows happy, healthy, intelligent, adorable children born to close relatives, whether they know it or not, and whether the children themselves know of their true biological ancestry or not. I can point to such people whose parents were close relatives. Should they have not been born?

Most children born to consanguineous parents are healthy. That's a fact. We don't hear about that much. Instead, "horror" stories are sensationalized... where a tyrannical patriarch or set of people isolated their family and abused children, engaging in deliberate inbreeding over generations. The problems resulting are often caused by the lack of prenatal care, lack of medical treatment, poor nutrition, physical abuse, substance abuse, poor hygiene, a polluted environment, etc. That's as far removed from what this blog is about (loving relationships between consenting adults) as possible. Cases like that do not justify denying consanguinamorous adults their right to be together in whatever way they want.

Bigotry and restrictions against consanguineous lovers predate a good understanding of genetics. It is just that people now misapply facts about genetics to cover for their dislike of the idea of consanguinamory.
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Friday, May 13, 2016

Myth: Acting on GSA Needs to be Criminalized, Prosecuted, and Stopped

Reality: There’s no stopping Genetic Sexual Attraction, although someone can attempt to prevent others from acting sexually on GSA, but decriminalizing GSA and bringing it out of the shadows is the best thing to do all-around.

If someone thinks having a consanguinamorous relationship is always a bad idea, it still hurts more than it helps to criminalize consanguineous sex. People experiencing GSA need to be completely free to seek assistance if they want it. Criminalization hinders that. Therapists and other counselors should be learning about GSA and learning how to help people who are experiencing it.

Some people say criminalization is needed to prevent societal collapse due to everyone making mutant babies with their close relatives. As already explained, most children born to close relatives are healthy. Even so, consanguinamory and reproduction are two different things.

We can also look at places where it is legal for close relatives to have sex and children together, such as Spain, Portugal, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Has there been a crisis as a result in any of those places?

Another part of this myth is that laws against consanguinamory prevent abuse. Abuse is illegal regardless of consanguinamory laws, and criminalizing consensual sex actually makes it more difficult to get victims and witnesses to cooperate in the prosecuting of abusers. Even if you want someone to get through GSA without having a(n ongoing) sexual relationship, criminalization is counterproductive. The only way to stop sex between those involved is to have constant, direct supervision of all reunited/introduced close genetic relatives 24/7/365. This, however, is needless. For some, the involvement is for a season and it will pass. For others, it will last a lifetime. Either way, there’s no good reason to try to stop it.

See Myth: It is Illegal Everywhere to Act on GSA

See Myth: People in GSA Relationships Don’t Need the Freedom to Marry



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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Are Genetic Studies Revealing Consanguinamory is Common?

Someone commenting on this blog linked to this article at nature.com from the European Journal of Human Genetics, to which I only subscribe for the annual swimsuit issue. But seriously, the article is extremely technical. Those of you who are somewhat educated in the sciences, especially Biology in general or genetics in particular, may be able to decipher what's being said, but I think I understand what the Abstract said.

Abstract

Copy neutral segments with allelic homozygosity, also known as regions of homozygosity (ROHs), are frequently identified in cases interrogated by oligonucleotide single-nucleotide polymorphism (oligo-SNP) microarrays. Presence of ROHs may be because of parental relatedness, chromosomal recombination or rearrangements and provides important clues regarding ancestral homozygosity, consanguinity or uniparental disomy. In this study of 14574 consecutive cases, 832 (6%) were found to harbor one or more ROHs over 10Mb, of which 651 cases (78%) had multiple ROHs, likely because of identity by descent (IBD), and 181 cases (22%) with ROHs involving a single chromosome. Parental relatedness was predicted to be first degree or closer in 5%, second in 9% and third in 19%. Of the 181 cases, 19 had ROHs for a whole chromosome revealing uniparental isodisomy (isoUPD). In all, 25 cases had significant ROHs involving a single chromosome; 5 cases were molecularly confirmed to have a mixed iso- and heteroUPD15 and 1 case each with segmental UPD9pat and segmental UPD22mat; 17 cases were suspected to have a mixed iso- and heteroUPD including 2 cases with small supernumerary marker and 2 cases with mosaic trisomy. For chromosome 15, 12 (92%) of 13 molecularly studied cases had either Prader–Willi or Angelman syndrome. Autosomal recessive disorders were confirmed in seven of nine cases from eight families because of the finding of suspected gene within a ROH. This study demonstrates that ROHs are much more frequent than previously recognized and often reflect parental relatedness, ascertain autosomal recessive diseases or unravel UPD in many cases.
Taking a closer look...
"Parental relatedness was predicted to be first degree or closer in 5%, second in 9% and third in 19%"
Now, "parental relatedness" being "first degree" means someone's genetic parents were parent and child or full siblings. That's for 5% of the population, or, 1 out of every 20 people.

"Second degree" means uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, grandparent and grandchild or half-siblings. That's 9%, or almost 1 out of every 10 people having such parentage.

"Third degree" means first cousins or some similar distance. That 19%, or nearly 1 out of every 5.
"This study demonstrates that ROHs [regions of homozygosity] are much more frequent than previously recognized and often reflect parental relatedness..."
Unless I'm reading that wrong, these scientists are saying more people in the population have close relatives for parents than previously thought.

It is important to remember that these do not all reflect CONSENSUAL (to be redundant) sex. At least some are, no doubt, the result of rape. Still, the indication is that...

1) A significantly large percentage of the population has genetic parents who are first cousins or closer, and most of them do not have severe genetic problems, or a whole lot more people would have such problems;

2) Even if we only count consensual relationships that are producing children (and we know that many consanguineous relationships don't because either they can't or choose not to), there's a lot of consanguinamory going on out there.


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