Monday, March 2, 2015

Gay Marriage and Incest in the US

This entry is superseded by this more recent one. I'll keep this entry around for historical perspective.

Gay marriage (or same-sex marriage, or most accurately same-gender marriage) and incest (consensual, not talking about rape or molestation) are usually two different things.

In the US, the bigotry against marriage equality currently extends to preventing first cousins from marrying in a little over half of the states. As of this updated [March 2, 2015] writing, bigotry still prevents any same-gender couples from marrying in all but twelve states and Washington, D.C. (although five more states are under court decisions to allow same-gender couples to marry, but those decisions are currently on hold pending appeals.) There are twenty-two states (including Arizona, Maine, Minnesota, and Illinois, which have very limiting restrictions) and D.C. that allow first cousins to marry and also have the same-gender freedom to marry. If you consider cousin marriage incestuous, then those are the places where gay marriage and incestuous marriage have an overlap, as same-gender first cousins can marry.

There are a few states with laws against consensual sex between first cousins, including North and South Dakota, Utah, Texas, Nevada, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Conversely, about half of US states will marry (heterosexual) first cousins into legally monogamous marriages, and the states that neither marry nor criminalize will generally allow first cousins to be together without marriage.

There are some states that do not criminalize consensual incest between closer relatives than cousins, but they will not marry those lovers. Most US states still have laws against consensual incest (consanguinamory), and in most of them, people do continue to be prosecuted for simply loving each other.

Laws against gay sex have been struck down by the Supreme Court. So, gay sex is legal nationwide, consanguinamory isn’t.

Mixed-gender consanguinamory (such as brother-sister sex) involves sex between consenting adults of who are closely related.*

Gay marriage is a commitment between consenting adults of the same gender.

Those are usually not the same things.

What they do have in common: 1. They are between consenting adults. 2. They don’t hurt anybody. 3. Both have been subject to discrimination and being banned by the sex-negative busybodies who like to interfere in the love lives of others. 4. There is no rational reason, consistently applied to other relationships, as to why either of these are banned where they are banned.  5. Gays and lesbians do not choose their orientation and people do not choose the parents to whom they are born.

Otherwise, they are two entirely different freedoms to marry. I support both freedoms to marry, and others, because I support relationship rights for all and full marriage equality.

An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY and ALL consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination. Don't like it? Then don't do it. (That’s a good, easy response to bigots that doesn't throw anyone under the bus.)

Different people have different likes and dislikes, different biases and prejudices than others. Some LGBT people are in consanguinamorous relationships. Other LGBT people are supportive, some neutral, and some disgusted by the idea. Just like everyone else. But nobody's disgust should interfere in another's life.

Consenting adults may do things with each other that might disgust a majority of other consenting adults, but that disgust of others should not prevent the consenting adults from having their sex or love lives. Each of us should stand up for the relationship rights of all consenting adults. Gay sex may disgust someone. Heterosexual sex may disgust another. BDSM may disgust someone else. Interracial sex may disgust someone else. Polyamory may disgust one person. Consanguinamory may disgust another. So what? The disgusted person doesn’t have to do it, but should recognize that other adults should be free to have orientations, feelings, and relationships they may not understand, and free to express their sexual desires with, and affections for, other consenting adults in the ways they want.

I was originally inspired to write this by the comments by Nick Cassavetes and the reactions to it.

By the way, I consulted Wikipedia for this info:, if you are personally dealing with the issues involved, I recommend a good lawyer as a reliable source of information.

*Some places include adoptive or step relations under the criminalization of incest, even though there is no biological relation between the participants.
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  1. It's pretty simple. Consenting adults should be allowed to be together in a relationship and get married if they wish.
    -Liz Smith

    1. I agree. The simple problem is, that as long as the people that are currently in charge keep running things the way the do, it's not going to change. Just way too many people with sticks up their asses. The fact is though, that now that gay marriage is legal in the USA now finally, who knows maybe incest will be made legal as well. Or at very least sex between legally consenting adults, no matter the relation.


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