Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York Brother and Sister Deny the Rumors

It shouldn’t be an insult or slander to say that two people have multidimensional love for each other. What am I talking about? This story from New York about septuagenarian siblings who say their landlord is telling others they are consanguinamorous.

Clara Sharma, 75, and her roommate-brother, Charles Steene, 71, claim their landlord is trying to roust them from their rent-stabilized Manhattan digs by spreading vicious rumors that they share more than just an apartment.

Sharma told The Post that management of the Morningside Heights building waged a whisper campaign against them, prompting tenants to believe she sleeps with her brother.

It is too bad that such rumors would have any power. It would be nice if we were to the point, as a culture, in which most people would say, “So what?”

“It’s character assassination,” Sharma said. “I’m not that kind of person. I was never that hard up that I would tap on family.”

It’s not a matter of being hard-up, unless she is saying her brother is not an attractive person.

A neighbor, Alan Messmann, called her “wacky” last year, and then referred to her as “an incestuous little witch,” Sharma alleged in a $50 million Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed last week against Messmann for slander.

Robert Cohen, who heads the management company, said the charges “are completely without merit.”

This kind of thing used to happen more with rumors that someone was gay or lesbian. It doesn’t matter. So what if they are? The problem is the prejudiced reactions and fears some have over the sexuality of others. It doesn’t matter if your neighbors are gay, or polyamorous, or consanguinamorous, or anything else that has no negative impact on you whatsoever. The only time it is ever relevant is when someone is trying to keep someone else from being who they are or sharing their love, while secretly doing the same thing themselves. But these siblings are not running a political campaign to deny marriage equality, so what would it matter if they like to get it on after watching "Matlock" reruns or "The Price is Right"? I'm sure a lot of people their age wish they were so lucky.

When we have full marriage equality, it will take away a lot of power from such rumors.
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