Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moving Towards Solidarity

This "Life After College" writer supports people in same-sex or poly relationships, but struggles with the idea of consanguineous relationships. She appears to be warming to the idea of full marriage equality. She references this Reddit discussion, which I will get to in another posting.

The other day, my boyfriend jokingly sent me an advice thread on Reddit, in which a man asks for advice after finding his 19 year old son and 18 year old daughter having sex. It was most likely posted by some bored troll, but between the comments, a lot of people linked to other threads in which people admitted to having long term sexual relationships with their siblings, including one brother-sister couple who are currently living happily ever after.

The day before I read this, Prop 8 was overturned, and I was overjoyed.

Yes, that was a very good day.

I believe that two consenting adults have the right to enter a legal contract.

Why not more than two? I don’t get this restriction on personal freedom.

Churches and temples may decide on their own if they want to perform same-sex marriages, but from a legal standpoint there should be nothing keeping two men or two women from having a civil ceremony.

Or two men and one woman, or two women and two men, or others.

And besides the legal reasons, I believe in gay marriage. I believe anyone should have the right to make a life with the person they love.

Anyone should have the right to make a life with the person or persons they love.

And then I read one comment.

While reading through the thread about the woman who is living with her brother (apparently their friends are very happy for them), there came the inevitable comment: “sorry to be that guy, but there is something seriously wrong with you.” When asked by the woman who started the thread what was wrong with her, he said their relationship was “morally wrong.” She then replied, “How can something that hurts absolutely no one be morally wrong?” And as much as I’m grossed out by the idea of that happening, and as much as I can’t remove the image of my boyfriend kissing his sister from my head, she is absolutely right.

See? People can get it. Get them past their biases and they can see the case for full marriage equality.

This goes right along with the “slippery slope” argument that soon people will be marrying their sisters and pets and furniture and the American Family is going to hell.

There is no slippery slope. The firm ground we should all be standing on is allowing consenting people to have their marriages.

And for the first time in my life as a liberal New Yorker, I can see what they’re getting at. Not the pets and furniture bit (consenting adults, remember?), but that my brother [or sister (if I had either)] and I could possibly get legally married if the argument that any-two-adults-can-enter-into-a-marriage argument stands.

Again, limiting it to two is an unfair restriction.

Granted, there are a lot of laws on this right now. A quick jaunt over to Wikipedia shows that Massachusetts issues a penalty of up to 20 years for anyone caught having sex with someone closer than their first cousin, and in Hawaii you could get five years. New Jersey doesn’t penalize if parties are 18 or older.

There were laws against gay sex, too, and they have been struck down.

Suffice it to say, there is quite the social taboo. Just like there still is, in some states, with homosexuality.

In large part, the social disapproval is lingering because of law. Many times I have seen someone object to a consanguineous relationship with “It’s illegal.” Okay, remove the law and then what?

But in the political and social spectrum, acceptance of either requires a basic acceptance for differing ideas of sexuality. I am not gay, I don’t have any desire to sleep with another woman, yet I believe that if another person wants to sleep with someone of the same sex that is their prerogative, and as long as they are not hurting anyone, whatever happens in the privacy of their bed is none of my business.

If this is my logic, I must accept this type of incest.

I agree.

I can say that I support the right for two consenting adults to engage in whatever business they feel, but what if I found my kids doing this? Could I support it? My gut instinct tells me no. What if sibling friends of mine came to me and said they had decided to be together. Would I be happy for them? I’m not sure.

PFLAG helps people who feel the same way about same-sex relationships. It would be helpful if they would expand or a new group along those lines would form to help the parents and friends of poly and consang people.

Could I imagine a world in which legislation on the issue of legalizing incest came up? Absolutely not.

Even if she can’t, I hope she’ll support such legislation should it come up.

You don’t need to like what people do with their private lives to see that the law should not stop them. If someone is lucky enough to find a relationship they want for the rest of their lives, why not let them build that life together?
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