Friday, March 29, 2013

More States Allow First Cousins to Marry Than Gays

You may have seen this picture (now outdated.) It shows that (heterosexual, monogamous) first cousins can legally marry in more US states than (monogamous) same-sex partners. Now, 9 states and Washington, D.C. allow gays and lesbians to marry one partner, with restrictions. See this map for laws regarding consanguineous sex and marriage, and this map for laws regarding same-sex marriage. Marriage is regulated at the state level in the US, which is why different states have different laws, but there are federal (national) programs and policies that treat people differently based on marital status. Currently, DOMA (which I like to call the Denial of Marriage Act), a federal law, prevents federal programs from recognizing legal same-sex marriages, but in June 2013 the US Supreme Court will likely overturn it.

Another way federal law has intruded into the freedom to marry is a denial of the polygamous freedom to marry. IIRC, if was over a hundred years ago that the Supreme Court denied that freedom. (It wasn’t all that long ago the court denied the right to gay sex in private, but fortunately it has since overturned that ruling.)

It is ridiculous for any of the states to deny the same-sex freedom to marry, and it is ridiculous for any of the states to deny the consanguineous freedom to marry. We can see from the many states that allow first cousins to marry, and for the many countries that do so, that there is no problem with it. We can also see from the states that have the same-sex freedom to marry, as well as countries like our neighboring Canada, that there’s nothing wrong with letting people have that freedom.

Every US state should back full marriage equality. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. If a woman wants to marry her cousin, she should have that right, even if that cousin is female, even if that cousin is already married, if all involved consent. Let’s make it happen sooner rather than later, either through a victory at the Supreme Court or by getting a Marriage Equality Amendment. This is no mere philosophical matter. This is about real people who denied equality right now. There are people who have to move, or at least travel, if they want to get married. There are also adults who are in happy, healthy, lasting marriages (though not legally recognized) who can't even be open to others about their relationship without risking prosecution. Prosecution, for loving each other! Thankfully, most same-sex couples not longer have that problem, but not all same-sex couples.

When someone shares that picture with you, it perhaps a good comment would be, “That is terrible. EVERY state should allow gays, lesbians, AND first cousins to marry. An adult should be free to marry any consenting adults.” As always, feel free to link to this or any other entry here if you'd rather save yourself the time.
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  1. I am not anti gay but am not happy with being compared to same sex partners. I live in a state that does not allow my cousin and i to wed. Thankfully we can in a neighboring state but it saddens me to be compared to same sex. We can have children without genetic issue ie procreate and same sex partners cannot. Please sfop comlaring us and good luck with your quest, u should be allowed to marry anyone you like but only just 1 partner imho.

    1. You're not happy being compared to them, and some of them are not happy being compared to you. In fact, that poster was put out to promote the same-gender freedom to marry, perhaps at the expense of the consanguineous freedom to marry.

      The important thing is that everyone support's ever other adult's rights, including the rights of the polyamorous.

  2. The court case you refer to is Reynolds v United States, 98 US 145 (1878):


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