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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lovers Should Not Have to Hide

There was a comment by Anonymous left on this previous entry:
The good news is that for every case like this where consenting adults are persecuted by society and the government, there are many more where the lovers are free to live as they please because they are competent enough to keep their relationship a secret.

I agree that that for every relationship that draws law enforcement action or media coverage, there are many more where consanguineous lovers have happy, positive relationships and experiences that do not get wide attention and aren’t prosecuted. Sometimes, only the individuals involved know.

So many siblings or relatives close in age have experimented as teenagers, some later. And some end up living as spouses.

I also agree that if someone can’t handle the fallout, they should try to keep things secret. While I think raising awareness will generally make things better, especially as people see the beauty and harmlessness of consanguinamory in real people, I advise caution when it comes to being public, including online (social networking, etc.) Coming out must be a personal decision made by those involved. My friends who inspired this blog have opted to use pseudonyms and only come out to a very few people so far, and I honor and support that.

However, my larger point is that no adult should have to hide their consensual relationship with another adult.

As I type, DOMA, which prevents national recognition of (monogamous nonconsanguineous) same-sex marriages is being scrutinized by US Senators [UPDATE March 20, 2013: The US Supreme Court is going to be hearing a case on this next week!]. It should be scrapped. And so should laws that punish consanguinamory and deny the freedom to marry to consanguineous lovers. It has to start somehow. If Rosa Parks had moved to the back of the bus, she could have avoided drawing attention to herself. But she shouldn’t have been asked to move in the first place. If the people at Stonewall had simply dispersed and never come back, they could have kept on hiding. But they should have been able to enjoy themselves and each other and associate freely without any police interference.

I understand that that some people enjoy consanguinamory as blissful shared secret, perhaps even enjoying that they can consider themselves as rebels or outlaws, or otherwise enjoying breaking what some consider a taboo. There are some who keep it casual, or have some sort of arrangement with each other for “dry spells” or to cheating on their spouses, or whatever it is. Those people are happy being in the closet, and that works as long as they don’t get caught.

But others want to share their lives, and perhaps get married. They don’t want to have to hide the most powerful love they’ve known. And they should not have to. They should be able to hold hands as they walk on the beach. They should be able to dance together and share a peck at wedding receptions. They should be able to join in conversations about sex without lying about the person they love with all of their heart and body.

And, despite their best efforts, some people who do try to be discreet are found out. A text message, a picture, someone seeing them through a window... it happens. When someone is in love, especially around the person(s) they love, other people (especially those who know them well) can sniff it out. Others are simply ignorant that the jurisdiction in which they live outlaws consanguinamory. They don’t feel wrong for loving each other, and they don’t imagine that consensual sex between adults could be a crime. Because it shouldn't be.

We could tell people they should have been more careful. But I think it is better to direct our energy towards making sure that an adult is free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults.

It is those who prosecute consenting adults who should feel stupid and should be ridiculed, not the consenting adults who didn’t hide their love.
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