Monday, December 13, 2010

Will This Be Lawrence For Consanguineous Lovers?

I’ve been thinking for a while now that the way the freedom of association and the freedom marry for consanguineous lovers will become a reality in the US through some connected and accomplished couples challenging incest laws that prevent consensual sex between adults, and challenging bigoted attitudes. Will Columbia University professor David Epstein’s case be the Lawrence vs. Texas for consanguineous lovers? Will enough people finally see that, even if they don’t like the thought of it, there’s as little justification for criminalizing consensual sex between adults relatives as there is between criminalizing sex between unrelated adults of the same sex, or any other consenting adults, for that matter?

The New York Daily News had the earliest coverage I’ll examine here.

A popular Columbia professor was charged Thursday with incest - accused of a sick sex relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said.

Sick? Bigoted, much?

Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending last year, according to court papers.

He was arraigned before a Manhattan judge on a single felony incest count.

It is ridiculous to prosecute someone for consensual sex with another adult.

Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post.

Professor Epstein, challenge the law. If anyone can make a good case, it will be you. Let’s show the world that this has nothing to do with ignorant preditors attacking children. Educated, cultured people can have a loving relationship like this. Let’s get the distinction firmly established dividing consensual sex between adults from child abuse.

Sources said the victim was over 18 when the relationship began in 2006 and that the two often exchanged twisted text messages.

Twisted? Your bigotry is showing, NYDN.

Epstein faces up to four years behind bars if convicted.

Outrageous. She was 20 or 21 when this allegedly began. Why is this a criminal matter?

From The Huffington Post

The Spectator reports that Epstein is married to another Columbia political science professor, Sharyn O'Halloran, though a recent update to his Facebook page says he is single.

Could this be the source of the criminal charges? An upset estranged wife?

Law professor Ann Althouse quotes the Supreme Court on the Lawrence vs. Texas case and concludes…

according to Justice Scalia, under the existing precedent, consensual adult incest cannot survive rational-basis review.

Let’s hope Scalia and the rest of the Supreme Court will keep that in mind when they have to decide.

Bridgette P. LaVictoire shows a lack of solidarity and throws consanguineous lovers under the bus, at least ones who aren’t same-sex.

Incest is still illegal in the United States, incidentally, and Mr. Epstein faces four years in jail if convicted.

Gay sex used to be illegal, too. So what? Laws can be changed.

Incest is considered taboo in pretty much every society humans have ever created, at least close incest such as mother-son, father-daughter, sister-brother, etc.

I don’t know where she gets that, considering how many royals engaged in it, and how many siblings experiment today. But again, the same was once said of gay sex. It all goes back to heterosexuals trying to consolidate power through arranged marriages.

In fact, humans, and just about all animals, are programmed to avoid direct mating with someone in that immediate circle because doing so is very detrimental to the gene pool.

Most sex does not result in a live birth. Most sex is not intended to. She, strangely, is making a “sex is for procreation” argument.

Smkovalinsky called her out…

Many people are “grossed out” by gay sex, but does this mean it ought to be illegal? Gay relations and incest relations are in NO way connected or similar, but the “gross out” factor should have nothing to do with whether or not they are deemed lawful. The professor and his daughter were in fact 2 consenting adults.

Bridgette P. LaVictoire replied…

Apparently you did not read what I wrote. Incidentally, it has been argued that no matter how consensual the incestuous relationship, it is never truly consensual.

All kinds of nonsense has been “argued.” What an ineffective excuse for bigotry.

Smkovalinsky again…

I did read in full what you said. Yes, the bigot was wrong: One being pro gay does not mean that one will support the professor. And yet, not long ago, many recoiled at gay sex, in the same way they now do at incest. The woman was 24: She had rights as well as duties, and we are autonomous over the age of 18, in the eyes of the law. Of course his being her father adds a coercive element, but she is well aware of this, and that she has every right to turn him away. Let’s hear what she has to say, and why she too is not being arrested, as she is an adult who has committed the crime of incest. In some scholarly camps, it has been argued that the gay identity is a coerced one for many; in my opinion, and I am sure yours as well, that is untrue and insulting. See also “Genetic Sexual Attraction”.

Bridgette P. LaVictoire…

I am more than aware of the argument behind Genetic Sexual Attraction, and that there is little to no proof of it existing.

She has her head in the sand.

My point is not to argue for or against incest here, but that there are not a lot of people clamoring for it to be legal.

That doesn’t mean it should be illegal. It just means that the civil rights groups have been derelict in this area. She went on to threaten Smkovalinsky with being banned for embarrassing her. It’s so sad when people who know what it is like to deal with bigotry perpetuate or stay silent about it themselves.
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