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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Half Siblings Can Marry in Sweden

emmashore asked, “I've heard that half siblings are allowed to marry in sweden, provided they receive 'special approval'. Is this true???”

According to this map, yes. This law is better than in most places, but any consenting adult should be able to marry any other consenting adult and special approval should not be needed, unless everyone who gets married has to get special approval.

Swinglish...

Both [cousins, half siblings] are just weird....I should think any right minded person would agree.

emmashore…

LOL I totally agree, wasn't asking for personal reasons.. was asking out of disgust and shock.

Isn’t that cute? They can be friends and hate other people together.

Carl T …

I also note that the ban on sex/marriage between close relatives appears to mostly be based on the notion that it's disgusting. If it were based on the risk of birth defects, I would also expect there to be a blanket ban on sex for those with serious heritable diseases and old but pre-menopause women, or a ban on reproduction but not on sex and marriage, or at the very least the laws would be based on biological and not legal relatedness (though since 2004 there is a possibility for adopted whole siblings to be allowed to marry, with no mention of whether they could then legally have sex).

Correction to the above: I found a comment to the relevant law, which clarifies that only biological whole siblings can be guilty of "samlag med syskon" (intercourse with sibling).

He makes a point. We don’t have equality under the law if a reason used to deny marriage equality isn’t applied to other cases to also deny freedoms.

Jamtjim…

So, my thought is this: If we accept in a modern liberal society that two consenting adults can do whatever they want sexually so long as it doesn't hurt any third party, then is it right to have a law which prohibits genetic siblings from having sex with each other?

No, it isn’t.

Now I realise that peoples first thought may be of disgust, personally I find the notion of inter-sibling sex morally and ethically wrong, but then law should not be based on subjective morality. Some people regard homosexual acts as wrong morally, but yet society has learned to accept this as like I said before, if it is consensual, and nobody gets hurt then this is accepted. Similarly, certain people believe that all sex outside of marriage is ethically wrong. Again modern societies to do not uphold laws which forbid this either.

Right. Disapprove all you want, but don’t force your disapproval on the lives of others.

CathySky…

I think people who do this suffer from low self esteem or some other mental health issue.

And she bases this on…? The people I know are healthy, happy, well-adjusted people.

Shibumi…

Although incest is a universal taboo, this taboo is universally violated.

Yes. Nobody does it. Except that it happens all over the world. Let’s drop the charade.

As for the legal aspects, I think that there are already laws on the books that deal with the control, domination and abuse aspects often involved in incest cases. These should be enforced. If there is a victim, the victim should be protected and defended by society and the victimizer should be stopped and punished. As for the (I believe) much rarer cases where two completely consenting and able-minded adults who are closely related, wish to behave as a couple, I don't think a law is needed.

Not just couples.

If societal pressure does not prove to be enough to keep them apart, they are not actually harming anyone and the government/state/law representing "we the people" should not enter their bedroom. We can still think it is wrong and pass personal judgment on them and frown and shun them… within the limits of the law of course… but not everything most of us agree is "wrong" should be legislated.

Thank you!

Jamtjim…

Is it fair to discriminate against people in a non-abusive relationship simply because there are a larger number of abusive ones? It it fair to deny these people the right to engage in a totally consensual relationship solely because of the actions of other people?

No!

Is this not against the principles of a free liberal society?

Yes, it is.

Time and time again, we see that arguments against this freedom to marry are nothing more than personal distaste, not reasoned policy.
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