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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Equal Protection Under the Law

Matthew Galluzzo, lawyer for Columbia University professor David Epstein, who'd been criminally prosecuted over consensual adult incest, wrote to Yes But However and made the legal case [link may no longer be working] for striking down laws against consensual consanguineous sex, while still trying to hint at a personal disapproval of such sex.

Second, I am a criminal defense attorney and not a religious leader or political activist, and accordingly, my argument is a legal one, not a moral or political one. I have never argued that homosexuality is the moral equivalent of incest, nor would I. I have never argued that the two are somehow similar biologically, psychologically, or ethically…

The comparison between the two is purely a legal one, and the legal argument that I am making is not a novel one – in fact, no less a legal scholar than Justice Scalia has already made it. I suggest that you read his dissent in
Lawrence v. Texas, but I will summarize the case for you:

This is very, very important.

Perhaps you didn’t realize it, but up until 2003, homosexual sodomy was still illegal in Texas and a few other states. Mr. Lawrence was arrested in Texas after being caught in the act by police officers in his own home, and was convicted of a crime as a result! He challenged the constitutionality of the state ban on sodomy, and initially lost because the Supreme Court had previously upheld the constitutionality of a similar state-level ban on sodomy in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986.

However, in 2003, the Supreme Court overturned its own recent decision in
Bowers v. Hardwick and declared that Mr. Lawrence had a constitutional right to engage in sodomy in the privacy of his own home, and that public opinion about the morality of such conduct was no longer a valid basis to deny him that liberty.

This same reasoning can be applied to poly and consanguineous sex.

In the dissenting opinion, Scalia countered that as a result of this logic, there is a very valid argument to be made that there is now a constitutional right to engage in acts of consensual adult incest. That is the argument that I am now making on behalf of my client, and i explained that to both ABC News and the Huffington Post.

I hope his argument works.

If your counter-argument is that incest ought to be illegal because it is always coercive (and thus, the ban on it is necessary to advance a compelling state interest), then I ask you the following questions:

1) Should it be illegal for a 33 year old sister and a 34 year old brother to have sex with each other? Is that relationship really coercive?

Very good question, because of course it shouldn’t be illegal. Also, for people who claim that all parent-adult child sex is coercive, I want to know at what point the coercion shifts to the child, given that some aging parents exhibit increasing dependence on their child?

2) Should all coercive sex result in an arrest? If so, the police would need to start arresting bosses for having sex with their secretaries, rich older men for having sex with younger less-wealthy people, and so on, and so on. Fortunately for them, there is nothing in the New York penal law that makes “coercive” sex illegal in the absence of force.

John Romano indicates that he is his not on board with solidarity, but doesn’t refute Galluzzo’s points.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Love That Should No Longer Be Denied

Mark Matousek, who has spent three years researching a book about ethics, wrote at PsychologyToday.com about one ethical question asked of him.

And just yesterday, minding my own business, I was asked a question at a dinner table full of liberals that stopped me in my tracks, morally speaking:

Is it ever OK to have consensual sex with someone in your family?

Yes, it usually is OK.

The question came from an attractive woman in her late 40s. My immediate response was, absolutely not.

That can be a typical response.

Years before, she and her half-brother had fallen madly in love. It was one of those requited-but-not-consummated, and never talked about, loves, and after high school the half-siblings had gone their separate ways, seeing each other only very rarely at family reunions. (They shared a mother but had different fathers).

In the past year, she continued, this woman had reconnected by telephone with this half-brother, who lived on the West Coast (we were in New York City). Both of them were now divorced and their phone calls were starting to turn steamy. The brother wanted to meet in Vegas for a long weekend. If she agreed to this illicit interlude, she was sure that things would finally become sexual between them.

Good for them. Sounds like they should have stayed together originally in the first place, but prejudice was keeping them apart.

I told her to go to Vegas.

Good for Matousek!

Why would they say no to the chance at love?

The pressure of bigotry and bigoted laws. Otherwise, there is no reason.

It seemed foolish and sad to turn away from such a gift.

I agree.

They should have the freedom to be together for a weekend or for life. They may have a beautiful, passionate relationship together for the rest of their lives. They should not be fired, bullied, nor arrested, nor should they be denied the freedom to marry, if that is what they want.

If you recognize yourself in this example (or have any life story that is remotely like this), please give an update. You can comment here (anonymously, if you want) or email me: fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com

See Ten Myths About Sibling Consanguinamory
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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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Thursday, March 28, 2013

They Know Equality Will Happen


wrote at vdare.com that we'll eventually get the polygamous freedom to marry, and he says it will happen because of African immigrants. I get the impression he's not happy about it and is being sarcastic when referring to racism.

Whether someone is a bigot or not, it is good that more and more people realize we will get full marriage equality. We've seen that over the last few days when it comes to the DOMA and PropH8 cases before the US Supreme Court, and how defeated the anti-equality mouthpieces are sounding.

The sooner opponents of equality realize that it is inevitable, the sooner they can put their resources to things like, oh, protecting children (and adults) from predators. I know denying basic rights to other adults is high priority and all, but once they realize equality is going to happen whether they like it or not, they're less likely to waste their time and money.

They've claimed their opposition to equality has been for the protection of women and children. In their convoluted desperation, maybe some of them actually believe it. But every dollar or minute spent fighting another adult's right to marry is a dollar or minute that can't be spent feeding the hungry, sheltering, the homeless, treating the sick, or fighting crimes against children.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Civil Rights Just For Some

Some people support increasing the freedom to marry, but not full marriage equality. Most of these people can’t give a good reason why they have that view. Joanna supported same-sex couples (nonconsanguineous?) but was very careful to make it clear that she didn’t support consenting adults having consanguineous sex. But the good news is she did recognize she didn’t know why. So she asked about this.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Kudos to Senator Claire McCaskill

US Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat, wrote this on her tumblr...
I have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love. While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry.
Thank you, Senator! I agree that an adult should be free to marry any and all consenting adults!
My views on this subject have changed over time, but as many of my gay and lesbian friends, colleagues and staff embrace long term committed relationships, I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality. Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals of liberty and equality. 
Please, Senator McCaskill, don't forget your polyamorous and consanguinamorous constituents, too. Equality "just for some" is not equality.

Tomorrow is the day the US Supreme Court takes up marriage. They should make a bold move for the rights of all adults.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Real Issues Surrounding a Real Experience

Genetic Sexual Attraction is experienced by up to half of all pubescent or post-pubescent people involved in:


1. reuniting with a close pubescent/post-pubescent genetic relative for the first time since one of them was seven years of age or younger

...or...

2. meeting a close pubescent/post-pubescent genetic relative for the first time.


It can be an extremely intense or overpowering attraction on a physical, sexual, and/or emotional level, and is a natural reaction to the circumstances.

Here are a few common examples to give you and idea:

1. A woman gives up her son for adoption at birth. Twenty years later, that son finds his birth mother, and she experiences GSA.

2. A stormy marriage ends while the wife is pregnant or when they have a toddler (a girl). The ex-husband virtually disappears, or the ex-wife deliberately disappears with the girl. Twenty years later the biological father and daughter reunite, and they both experience GSA.

3. A man has a son with his first wife and they divorce. Years later, the man, living some ways away, remarries and has a daughter with his new wife. The daughter does not meet her half brother until they are post-pubescent, and she experiences GSA.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Stanford Journal Article: Remove Laws Against Consensual Incest

Clare Theresa Kasemset wrote “Should Consensual Incest Between Consanguine Adults Be Restricted?” It is found in Intersect: The Stanford Journal of Science, Technology &; Society, Vol 2, No 1 (2009)
NOTE: Comment left by Anonymous gives this link: http://ojs.stanford.edu/ojs/index.php/intersect/article/view/137

The abstract says…

Many states outlaw sexual intercourse between adults who are closely related by blood, such as first cousins. This paper first gives an overview of recent news involving this type of incest and the current legal restrictions surrounding it. It then lays out arguments in favor of either stricter regulation or more lenient treatment. Finally, it proposes and justifies an alternate solution to legal restrictions.

She starts off with the “ick” factor.

Because the term “incest” can apply to such a wide variety of situations, people often confuse their feelings about incest with their feelings about pedophilia, rape, and adultery. The fact that incest often involves those acts, which seem obviously destructive and wrong, makes people associate it with grievous harm. Most news cases about incest report sexual relations between a parent or stepparent and a child.

That’s because consensual incest rarely comes to the attention of the news media.

To avoid the confusion of incest with other sexual crimes, this paper will restrict its scope to the issue of incest between consenting adults who are related by blood.

That is what I call “consanguineous sex”.

What sort of restrictions should be placed on consensual sexual intercourse between biologically related individuals?

None, if they are adults.

She goes on to write about the Stuebing-Karolewski case in Germany...
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Polyamorous Triad Featured in South African News


Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat writes about polyamory at iol.co.za...
Before I met Mark, Kate and Alice at a Joburg restaurant, I learnt that they are considered the “poster children” of polyamory in South Africa. That is why, says Mark, they try to present a positive image to their community, despite some people’s disapproval of their unconventional bond.
There is a wide variety of polyamorous people. We come from all backgrounds. We are in every geographic region, every socioeconomic status, in just about every political or religious organization of any size. Some of us are are in open or partially open polycules, some of us are in closed polyfidelitous polycules, some of us aren't in a polycule at all right now. Some of the polycules are "Vs," some of them are triangles, some are quads, etc. Different polycules have different guidelines. Some of us are outspokenly out, some of us are quietly out, some of us are partially out, some of us are in the closet. Some of us live together, some of us don't. Some of us sleep in the same bed, some of us don't. Some of us only ever have one-on-one sex, some of us usually have sex that involves three or more lovers. Some of us are quite "vanilla" in or lovemaking (other than being in a polycule) and some of us are into BDSM or something else. Some of us want to have a recognized polyamorous marriage, some of us don't want to get married at all.

What I'm trying to say is that the only thing that all poly people have in common is that they are oriented towards, prefer, or are in relationships in which at least one person in the relationship seeks or has sex with or romantically or erotically loves more than one person, with the agreement of all involved.

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Shame on Grant County, Wisconsin

This was something I posted in 2010, and I'm bumping it up because it shows the importance of having relationship rights for all adults, and why the US Supreme Court should make a bold ruling for relationship rights, including full marriage equality, for all adults.


In what has to be an update to case I wrote about back in May 2010, a 25 year-old Blue River, Wisconsin man is has been convicted of incest because of consensual sex with another adult.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fired Up in Texas


From khou.com comes a report that a man is accused of arson for setting fire to a place he shared with his wife. What does that have to do with this blog? Well, read four yourself....
There were words painted on the drive way that said “___  sleeps with mom happy b day,” court documents stated.

Edwardo Saldana’s wife said they had separated and that he had recently moved back into her home. The couple had gone to Galveston with her son to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Saldana’s wife said they got into an argument and he took the only vehicle and left everyone else in Galveston.

Saldana later told a work supervisor that he found his wife and stepson in a room with their pants down and that he got scared and left, but went to the house where he poured gasoline in the bedrooms and burned furniture on the patio, according to court documents.
I'm guessing Saldana wouldn't have consented to a polyamorous or open relationship, at least not involving his stepson.

Would an arsonist lie? Consensual incest allegations are no small matter in Texas, which actually has a law criminalizing sex even between first cousins, even though heterosexual first cousins can legally marry in about half of US states. If there is something going on between the mother and son, they should keep quiet about it because it sounds like the only witness is a guy who has issues with the law himself.

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Update on Alabama Prosecution of Son


I last caught news on this case in December. Stephen McLamb reports at waff.com that a man convicted on a charge of incest for an encounter with his mother was criminally sentenced and released. Two important things to note about this are that...

1. It wasn't clear in earlier reports if this was a case of consensual mother-son sex or whether the son sexually assaulted his mother. At at least one point, she claimed it was consensual. Perhaps that is why the charge is "incest" and not for sexual assault or rape.

2. If this was an assault, the sentence and time served are ridiculously lenient. If it was consensual this shouldn't have been a criminal matter to begin with.

What's going on in Marshall County?

Gary Dean Helms was sentenced Monday afternoon to 10 years in jail, but the judge split the sentence to serve 1046 days, which is the time he has already served.

Ten years. Ten years for consensual sex is ridiculous. Serving only five years for sexual assault is infuriating. Which is it?
Helms pleaded guilty to incest from a 2006 incident where Helms became upset with his brother and then had sex with his mother.
Rapists don't "have sex" with their victims. They assault them.
His mother at first had said she was raped and later said it was consensual.

Was she initially trying to protect herself from bigotry and prosecution? Or did she move away from the truth to protect her attacker? We don't know.
Helms was ordered to serve five years supervised probation and register as a sex offender.

If he's a predator he should be registered as an offender. But if this was consensual sex he's no threat to anyone. This is why laws criminalizing consensual adult sex need to be removed.

If this was consensual and they still want to be together, nobody should be able to stop them.
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Polyandry Again


I previously wrote about this fraternal polyandry (which is a form of polygamy) situation that is being profiled in them media. The folks at dailymail.co.uk had more pictures of this family and some more information.
The set-up may seem peculiar, but it is tradition in the small village near Dehradun, Northern India, for women to also marry the brothers of their first husband.
Remember, where this is, this is traditional marriage.


Tradition: The set up may seem peculiar, but it is custom in the small village near Dehradun, Northern India, for women to also marry the brothers of her first husband
  
The ancient Hindu tradition of polyandry was once widely practiced in India, but is now only observed by a minority.
 
It sees a woman take more than one husband, typically in areas which are male dominated.

In fraternal polyandry the woman is expected to marry each of her original husband's brothers.

Polyandry isn't for everyone, but there are people all over world who are in polyandrous relationships because it is what is best for them. That is their right, and they shouldn't be denied by discrimination.
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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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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Keeping Track of Polyamory's Media Rise

Alan at Polyamory in the the News has had so much more to do lately! That's because his blog is a great place to find roundups and links to media that depicts or discusses polyamory, whether news item or a television show. Since polyamory has been emerging from the closet and rightfully getting attention from major news periodicals, broadcasters and studios, there's so much more for Alan to do.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to checkout the blog and bookmark it or subscribe to it.

Kudos and thanks to Alan for what he does.




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Polyandry is For Some

Polyandry isn't for everyone, but it works for some. In some places in the world, it is traditional marriage. If a woman and multiple men want to be with each other in a polyandrous marriage, why shouldn't they be free to exercise that right? Here's an example of fraternal polyandry from spyghana.com...
Clan ... Rajo Verma with Jay and, l-r, Sant Ram, Bajju, Gopal, Guddu and Dinesh




Rajo Verma, 21, lives in a one-room shack with all five, sleeping with a different one each night on a rota.

The housewife has no idea which one is the father of her toddler son.

She said: “Initially it felt a bit awkward. But I don’t favour one over the other.”

Husband Guddu, 21 — the first to make her his bride — insisted: “We all have sex with her but I’m not jealous. We’re one big happy family.”

This marriage was actually arranged, but there are people who choose such marriages for themselves.

The couple got hitched in an arranged Hindu marriage four years ago and he remains her only official spouse.

But the custom in their village is she had to take as husbands his brothers Bajju, 32, Sant Ram, 28, Gopal, 26, and Dinesh — who married her last year when he turned 18.

Eldest brother Bajju said: “I consider her my wife and sleep with her like my brothers.” Rajo cooks, cleans and looks after 18-month-old Jay while her hubbies go out to work in Dehradun, northern India.

She said of the ancient tradition, called polyandry: “My mother was also married to three brothers so when I got wed I knew I had to accept all of them as my husbands.

“I sleep with them in turn. We don’t have beds, just lots of blankets on the floor.

“I get a lot more attention and love than most wives.”
What if they immigrated to the US or another country that would make her deny some or all of her husbands? It is just one of many real examples of why the US Supreme Court should rule for full marriage equality.



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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Biggest Problem Seems to Be Prejudice

Here's an article about Teresa Weiler, who search for information about her biological parents and found out they were brother and sister.

Until then all she knew about her past was that she had been abandoned at birth by her mother and then spent three years in an orphanage before being adopted.

Sad. Perhaps if her mother had been supported, that wouldn't have happened. At least she was adopted.

The article then references Penny Lawrence and Garry Ryan.

But it was not only their relationship that enraged Sun readers - it was their decision to have a baby.

Even though their child could be born with mental or physical disabilities, six-weeks-pregnant Penny said she would terminate the foetus if scans showed a problem.

Every pregnancy involves risk of producing a child with mental or physical disabilities.

Today angry Teresa warns the couple that heartache and possible physical problems lie ahead for them. She has been plagued by poor health and decided to be CHILDLESS for fear she could pass on a genetic defect.

I'm sorry Teresa has physical problems. Would she rather not have been born? Most children born to consanguineous parents are okay.

"This child will undoubtedly find out the secret about Penny and Garry's relationship as they have spoken so brazenly about it in public. It will be very confusing and mentally damaging for that child."

It doesn't have to be if we can reduce prejudice against consanguinamory.

Teresa, a manager at a children's home, was left in hospital by her birth mother and spent her first three years in an orphanage in Brentwood, Essex.

From there, she was adopted by Terence and Truda Weiler and enjoyed a happy, loving childhood with two older brothers and a younger sister.

There's something to be said for that. It is a good thing she was born.

Finding this out hit me hard. The idea I was the child of incest made me feel dirty.

Why? Your parents clearly loved each other.

Social services had written that my mother was a 16-year-old unmarried waitress from Belfast.

"They named my father as her 14-year-old brother. I felt physically sick by what I read.

Why? Would it have been better if her teenaged mother had been impregnated by a stranger?

"It was a shock to see my birth mother and she was with a man who she introduced as her friend. They looked alike and I looked like both of them. To this day I believe it was her brother - my father."

If they were still together, that's saying a lot. How many relationships between teenagers last? If they had been supported more, they could have raised their daughter themselves. Teresa does have one medical issue, as the article describes, but most of the population deals with at least one medical issue. The biggest problem for her seems to be prejudice and self-loathing, unfortunately. Acceptance would go a long way to making things better.

See Ten Myths About Sibling Consanguinamory
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Consanguineous Marriages Common in Arab Countries

According to news printed at menafn.com, the country of Oman has more consanguineous marriages than most Arab countries, but there are nearby countries with higher rates. Consanguineous marriages have been common in many other regions of the world, too, for much of history. It's ridiculous that there are some US states that ban the consanguineous freedom to marry.
According to the data provided by M Mazharul Islam, assistant professor at SQU's department of mathematics and statistics, Oman is sixth after Sudan (63.3 per cent), Iraq (57.8 per cent), Saudi Arabia (56 per cent), Kuwait (54.3per cent) and Qatar (54 per cent) when it comes to consanguineous marriages. The rate is 40.2 per cent in urban areas and 34.1 per cent in rural areas.

Islam said, ''Data shows that the rate of consanguineous marriages in Oman is higher than observed in most Arab countries including Egypt (21 per cent), Morocco (22.8 per cent), Algeria (34 per cent ), Syria (35.4 per cent), Lebanon (37.8 per cent), Tunisia (39.3 per cent), Bahrain (43.1 per cent), Yemen (44.7 per cent), Mauritania (47.2 per cent), Jordan (48.1per cent), Libya (48.4 per cent) and the UAE (50.5 per cent), but lower than Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Sudan.
And...

He added, ''Unions between first cousins were the most common type of consanguineous unions, constituting 39 per cent of all marriages and 75 per cent of all consanguineous marriages. About 11 per cent of the marriages are polygynous.''
And...
He further revealed that a Nizwa Hospital-based study showed higher risk of congenital disorder among children of consanguineous couples than those of non-consanguineous couples. The risk of disfigurement and hepatitis is over two times higher among children from consanguine parents.
That means that if there is a 2% chance of any child having such a problem, a child born to consanguineous parents has a 4% chance. It isn't just genetics. It can be because they grew up in the same environment or had the same diet or otherwise had a similar lifestyle, ingesting the same toxins. Of course, unrelated people can have children with birth defects or diseases. Anyone who is worried about to get genetic counseling.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

When Incest is a Consensual, Positive Experience

There are people who would have everyone believe that there are no happy consanguinamorous relationships. That romance or eroticism with a close biological relative can only be a bad experience. Over at PFI [a site that doesn't exist anymore... go to Kindred Spirits for an existing place to talk], one discussion participant asked a question and answered it first…

If you could go back in time to where it all started and have the knowledge you do now about what lay ahead of you in this thing called incest, would you still go through with it ??

i've thought about it many times, and the answer i come up is yes i would, sure there are many tears and hard times you go through, but for me the good has always outweighed the bad, life is what you make of it, and we've made a very good life for ourselves....

The first response…

In spite of all the difficulties, I'd do it all the same way. This kind of love is so much deeper and comfortable and intense than anything I've experienced with other people. It's just that worth it, in my opinion.

The second response…

If I could go back in time, knowing what I now know, I would have gladly lost my virginity to uncle. We had the opportunity when I was 16 and I bottled it and I do regret that. I feel I have wasted too many years worrying about possible consequences and I'm kicking myself! I'm just enjoying making up for lost time with my darling. We can't meet up very often so every second is precious with him but we email every day and telephone every week. He truly makes my heart leap for joy.

The third response…

If I could go back to that time, knowing what I know now, I would not have been so concerned about the rest of the world. Not so worried about what they would think or say or do. I would have more trust in my love and my own feelings. We wasted so many years of our life, stuck, not being together and longing for each other. We were not following our hearts. Now, being without her would be the most horrible form of hell I can imagine.

The fourth response came from the third respondent’s partner…

Awww... I feel the same way. I wish I could go back to that moment knowing what I know now... I would be in your arms in a heartbeat you are my soulmate and I love you...

The fifth response…

Yep!

Another…

It's not always fun and games,but I've never regretted it.We've had a lot of good times together and I look forward to many,many more special memories.It's great to be with someone who I can experience that deep emotional connection with.I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Not one of the responses I saw expressed regret at having gotten involved in consanguinamory.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to read the interviews I have conducted here.

Every sexual or romantic relationship carries the risk of heartache. Consenting adults should not also be forced to endure prosecution nor persecution. They should he allowed their happiness. And if they do break up, they should be comforted, rather than lectured.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

One Example of Why Full Marriage Equality is Needed

There is so much to blog about here, but for now I want to call your attention (again) to an interview I did with Linda, Melissa, and Matthew. They there the people who originally inspired this blog as I had a personal relationship with them before I decided I needed to do more to promote full marriage equality.

I have been able to personally witness this how much love this polycule has, and the beauty of their marriage. They should be free to not only be themselves, but legally marry. That can't happen without full marriage equality.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Zealand Should Keep Moving Towards Marriage Equality

New Zealand is almost guaranteed to be adopting the limited same-gender freedom to marry, and congratulations to our monogamist LGBT friends who will finally be free to marry in New Zealand. We want to see New Zealand continue to progress to full marriage equality, so that an adult is free to marry any and all consenting adults.

Here is what Nick Perry wrote for the Associated Press
New Zealand lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill allowing same-sex marriage Wednesday, all but assuring that it will soon become law.

Lawmakers supported the bill 77 to 44 in the second of three votes needed for a bill to be approved. The second vote is typically the most crucial one. The third and final vote is likely to be little more than a formality and could be taken as early as next month.
Are you paying attention, US Supreme Court? Don’t let the US fall further behind. Make a bold statement for the rights of all adults.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Happy Couple That Deserves Equality

I am bumping up this entry because it is as relevant as ever.

In the courtrooms and in public debate, we hear over and over again that when it comes to sex and relationships, consenting adults should be allowed to their sexuality and relationships. The bigotry against LGBT people has been largely driven off by this simple recognition of basic rights. Unfortunately, there is still much more bigotry and even prosecution against people who love more than one person, or love someone who is their cousin or closer relative.

Real people in loving relationships, people you may see every day, people who pay their taxes and work and don’t hurt anyone, are hurt by these archaic laws and lingering prejudices.

Liz and Ryan are a loving couple, living as husband and wife. They aren’t legally married because they can’t get legally married. In most places in the US, they could be prosecuted for having taken their relationship in a new direction. Why are they denied marriage equality? Because Liz and Ryan are brother and sister.

Some people recoil at that idea. Hopefully, not my regular readers. But people recoil at the idea various legal marriages and other relationships that aren’t criminalized. There have been heterosexual, nonconsanguineous couples where the thought of them being intimate has unsettled my stomach a bit. But I would never try to stop them. Why doesn’t the law support Liz and Ryan’s marriage?

If you recoil at the idea of them being married, as various siblings have been throughout history, please allow yourself to put aside your reaction for a moment and think through this logically. Read Liz’s account of her relationship with Ryan, and ask yourself what logical reason there is to deny these consenting adults their right to love, sex, and marriage. You don’t have to like what they’re doing, just recognize that people should have their rights, even if you don’t like the way they use those rights.

Liz wrote to me about Ryan…

All my life I looked up to him, and he's always been there for me. He's been the best big brother a girl could have, and we became very close. When we’d watch TV, he’d sometimes put his arm around me and I would rest my head on him.

Some siblings are horrible to each other. The world would be a better place if more siblings were like Ryan and Liz.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Dymanics of Consanguinamory

Kindred Spirits forum continues to be a great (and free!) place for people with consanguinamory experiences and relationships, and others interested in the topic, to get together for quality discussion. If you want to participate there, be sure to immediately read and follow the rules, or you'll get kicked right out.

As one person wrote...
This is a first for me. I've come across a handful of similar sites, but this is the first I've seen that seems to be a bit more serious and subject-oriented; which is why I decided to give it a shot
Here's an example. Someone brought up the subject of siblings who were active with each other while going through high school...
Just wandering what some of the other [people] on here went thru in high school ( if your relationship started by then ) . Where you interested in others or just your Incestual loved one .... was a little rough for me and very confusing

Bearsbaby, who was interviewed here, wrote...
Simple for me this one..... 

I have only ever loved and been with one man my whole life, and that's my darling brother. So there has never been any confusion for me, even at high school, the only one for me was my brother.  

We had been in a relationship for a few years before we were eventually found out by our parents, but after all the arguements etc that entailed, they realised that we actually had something quite special. So in many ways we are very lucky to have a very supportive family, but at a cost of having to lose contact with our eldest brother purely to protect ourselves. 

As for other guys asking me out or girls asking him out, well there is one golden rule.....

You never mess with a true highlander hehehehe

If I needed backing up with a boy, my brother would 'warn them off' so to speak, and I would do the same for him. We always knew we had to be very secretive, especially where we lived at the time, as we lived in a village, but when ever we could get time together, we loved every moment, although as the years passed on it did become harder to try and hide things away. 
In a different discussion discussing the dynamics of consanguinamorous relationships, one woman wrote...

As for me and my father, I am just his daughter when we talk about money, finances, the economy or world events. But when the subject turns to having sex I am his woman and he is my man except when we do the occasional real life role play of me calling him 'daddy' when we are doing it, but that has become less frequent as our relationship has grown over the years.

There is no reason why these people should be denied their rights or why they should have to hide. If you are in a consanguinamorous relationship and want to talk with others, without all of the noise found in other forums, check out KS.
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Article Claims Mom Got Pregnant by Son on Purpose

What is published in the media isn't always the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for many reasons that I'm not going to get into right now. Almost of the people in consanguinamorous relationships I am in personal contact with avoid media attention due the legal and social risks of being outed. Those who have already been outed and prosecuted have more freedom to speak up, but others remain quiet, going about their lives being good people but being treated like second-class citizens because of their love. This makes me a bit skeptical of news articles about people in consanguinamorous relationships that include their names and pictures. The blog Incest Experiences had an entry about a news item that caught my eye. Here's what Monte wrote on the blog...
I want to preference this by saying I’ve only been able to find one link for this article and I can’t find any information on the location of this story.  Needless to say I find the story fascinating even though there is very few details on the couple.

40 year old Mbereko, who was widowed 12 years ago, has been living with her first child, 23 year old Farai Mbereko.  Yes, she is living with her 23 year old son, but that’s just the beginning of this families story.  She confirms that she’s six months pregnant and that she has decided it’s better to “marry” her son because she doesn’t want to marry her late husband’s young brothers, whom she says are coveting her. 
Why should she have to marry anybody? But if she wants to marry Farai, she should be free to do so.
Of course, we are ALL curious what the 23 year old Ferai has to say about marrying AND supporting his mother and their child.  Apparently he is MORE than ready to do just that.  Not to mention he doesn’t want people to call his mother a whore.  But there is at least one guy who isn’t happy for the incestuous couple, local headman Nathan Muputirwa, is that man and he had this to say: “We cannot allow this to happen in our village, mashura chaiwo aya, (This is a bad omen indeed).  In the past they would have to be killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the police.”.  He is so against the idea of the couple getting married he wanted to KILL THEM!  But luckily he is afraid of the law and instead decided to just banish them from the village.
Well, banishment is better than violence, but it is still ridiculous

Here is the article from blackmediascoop.com. Check out the ever-so-enlightened comments if you want to shake your head.






They are adults. Let's them be together, marry, and raise their child(ren.) An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, banishment, or discrimination. If this article is truth, it is sad that people would be so prejudiced as to drive lovers away.

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Friday, March 8, 2013

The Poly Freedom to Marry Will Happen

Bumped up so I can refer you to compare what I wrote with what was written at this poly blog.

With awareness of polyamory rising, there has been buzz lately, some of it with a discouraging tone, about whether or not polyamorous marriages (what I call polygamy) will be legalized. I don't consider it an if, but a when. Others, not so much. Mistress Matisse at The Stranger doesn't agree, for one example.

It's true that some poly people don't want their relationship associated with anything resembling hetero-mono conformity or formality, especially not in a form registered with a government, and some of those don't want anyone's relationship anointed by government. There are others, however, who do want to be free to have their polyamorous marriage registered and treated equally.

As long as marriage, civil unions, or anything of the sort is offered by the government, then an adult should be be free to enter into one with any and all consenting adults. From a government perspective, marriage is about money (forming a corporation) and next-of-kin. When it comes to money, we already have models in business of how to accommodate more than two people, how to handle it if one person wants to leave or another wants to join, etc, When it comes to next of kin, that can be sorted out with an additional legal document or a single line on a marriage license.

All of the legal questions can be addressed, and such questions should not deny someone their fundamental rights. It is an established pattern, in the US anyway, that even though it is convenient for the majority to not allow a minority their rights, the minority can't be denied their rights. Racial desegregation wasn't convenient. It meant changing a lot of things.

So, monogamists might not see a need. People who do not want ongoing relationships with anyone might not see the need. Even some poly people might not see the need. But the need is there. Polyamorists must be afforded equal protection and equal access. Like other adults, we must be protected against discrimination perpetrated because of who we love.


It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that some people are polyamorous just as much as they are left-handed or right-handed, even if those people are not seeing anyone at all at any given time in their lives. Monogamy isn't for everyone. Polyamory is for some, and everyone will be better off the faster more people realize this.

Whether someone wants to be celibate, or have monogamy, or have some form of polyamory, or want to swing or swap, whether they want to have an open or closed relationship... whether they want to cohabitate or not, or get married or not... those should all be up to the people involved. They should have those options, and it shouldn't mean they can be discriminated against, abused, bullied, or harassed.

Don't bet on there never being a strong push from poly people and our allies. Bets against the advancement of civil rights haven't turned out so well in the long run. There is no good reason to deny the polygamous freedom to marry. It's going to happen.








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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Polyamory in the Spotlight

Thanks to OWN's Our America with Lisa Ling featuring some polyamorous people, awareness of polyamory is accelerating again. Most of the reactions I have seen from poly people have been positive. Rich Juzwiak at gawker.com had this...
In a brash Barbara Walters-esque style, Ling asked several of the profiled subjects what it's like to be considered perverts and freaks by mainstream society for loving multiple people. It was almost cartoonishly rude, but it gave the opportunity for what all seem like reasonable, well-adjusted people to give reasonable, well-adjusted answers about their way of life ("lifestyle," a word frequently used on the show even by the polyamorous, seems like a pejorative, but maybe that's just me being gay).
"There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. It's not something to hide or be ashamed of. Loving people, however you love them, is not a bad thing," said one correct person. The rational case for polyamory expands.

And huffingtonpost.com also noted the program.


Colleen is a seemingly typical 11-year-old girl. She loves horseback riding, her new phone, and her friends. But Colleen's family is anything but typical; they are polyamorous, meaning that they have multiple partners. Colleen and her mother, Regina, live with Russell, Regina's husband, and Dave, Regina's boyfriend. In this deleted scene from "Our America with Lisa Ling," Regina speaks about the benefits of having multiple adults around to help raise her daughter. She also reveals how their unique lifestyle is explained to Colleen.

"We've been open pretty much her entire life," she says. "It's just been this gradual introduction over time, that some people think that you are only allowed to love one other person. And how we've presented it is we've found that we can actually love more than one other person. And that doesn't mean that this relationship is less because I love this other person too."
The more awareness of polyamory, the better. Sure, some prejudiced people will spew hate. But more people will be able to put a name to who they are and that polyamory is a viable option, and more allies will be created as people see that polyamorous people are just like everyone else. We're your classmates, your coworkers, your neighbors, your family members... we're everywhere, and there's no good reason poly people should be denied their rights.
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Prudes, Bigots Act Suprised Academia Recognizes Sexual Diversity

As more and more people recognize and discuss gender, sexuality, and relationship diversities (GSRD), uptight prudes and power-hungry bigots scream in frustrated futility as they try to shove everyone into closets, turn off the lights, and stick their fingers in their ears. As they have done many times before, they are bemoaning the fact that university students are actually interested in learning about and discussing GSRD, and so they focus on one or two aspects of the discussion in order to rile up the pearl-clutchers.

Katherine Timpf of CampusReform.org blew the dog   whistle this time. At examiner.com, , apparently a compulsive user of scare quotes, wrote a piece headlined with "Yale hosts bestiality and incest sensitivity training."
The title of the workshop was, "Sex: Am I Normal?"

The "sexual diversity" they were referring to, however, had little to do with "alternative" lifestyles, such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, or transgenderism. Instead, it was about bestiality, masochism, paid sex, and incest.

The sensitivity training was hosted by a "sexologist" who, apparently, also owns a sex shop in West Chester, Pa. Her name is Dr. Jill McDevitt.

Regarding the workshop, "Dr. McDevitt" says:

"It tries to get people to be more sensitive....to sexual diversity. We're not all heterosexual, able-bodied folks who have standard missionary sex."

Does "Alberto Vargas" disagree with that?

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One Woman Sees Advantages in Polyandry

Jenny Sharpe of Thunder Bay responded to an article on Sister Wives/polygyny with what she sees as the possible advantages of polyandry (one woman, multiple men.)
In times of extreme global population growth and economic uncertainty why not consider “brother-husbands” family units instead?

Since I support full marriage equality, I do think people should be free to choose polyandry as well as any other marital polycule or monogamous combination.
Would it not make sense economically for four men and one woman to pool their economic resources?

Anyone pooling their resources can make sense: a man and a woman, two men, two women, three men, three women, two men and one women, etc.
We have gone from 800-square foot two-bedroom bungalows to palatial mansions in North America as family homes, which would be plenty of room for larger family units. With more adults contributing economically, it would be easier for a family to pay the mortgage, utilities and avoid foreclosure. Economic savings could then be invested in the education of the family’s offspring, or pay for a boat and motor, etc.
This family unit could be reasonably self-sufficient. If a woman chose with care, one handyman husband could replace everything from roof shingles to furnace to maintaining family vehicles. Another might be skilled at gardening or doing household accounts. One might have great prowess in intellectual pursuits and dinner conversations and one could provide musical entertainment at said parties with little need to contract such tasks out.

Sounds great.

These suggestions are often made in jest, but some people are laughing all the way to a better life.
A weakness of the “sister-wife” unit is the large number of children which might result. A “brother-husband” family unit could not produce 16 offspring (as the polygamous family of reality TV fame has done with one man and four wives). Instead, these units would heroically reduce population growth.

They would do it by their own choices, which is fine by me.
We’ve been told it takes a village to raise a child. Surely, children would thrive in the care of five loving adults rather than the traditional two.

It often works that way in deliberate poly situations; certainly better than most "monogamous" situations in which multipe stepparents who are hostile to each other are involved.
Family responsibilities such as taking a vacation day to attend school trips, or missing pay to pick up a sick child from school could more efficiently be juggled by five adults, especially when grandparents live miles away.

This is all true. Polyandry, polygyny, or whatever, let people decide for themselves. 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.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lisa Ling Puts Polyamory on Television Again

If you check your local listings, you might catch an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling called "I Love You & You...& You."

It is featuring some polyamorous families. Some of the people involved can be found here and here.

Polyamory is getting more and more attention, which is good. The more people see the reality of polyamorous people, the better. It is time people knew that there's nothing wrong (and quite often something very right) about being polyamorous and polyamory is a valid way of life. Yes, there will still be people expressing their ignorance or bigotry about poly people, but in general, visibility will help make things better.

Soon, enough people will realize that the polyamorous or polygamous freedom to marry should not be denied, and that will help move us towards full marriage equality. There is no good reason to deny poly people their rights.
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Monday, March 4, 2013

Gender and Number

This is all too typical…

The flaw in the logic of comparing polygamy and gay marriage is that an individual does not choose to be gay, an individual is born gay. People are not born polygamists.

Of course people are born gay. But people are not “born polygamists?” There are lot of poly people who will tell you or that they are naturally (born) poly. There are other people who are denial but haven’t stuck to celibacy or monogamy, being with many people. Some people are heterosexual, some gay. Some are poly, some monogamous.

Gender and number certainly are two different factors in the freedom to marry. Recognized polygamy has a long and rich history around the world. Marriage between people of the same gender hasn’t, because of so much bigotry against LGBT people. So yes, there is a difference. The freedom to marry one person of the same sex is not the same as being able to marry two or more people of whatever genders. But both of these freedoms to marry are essential to marriage equality. Let’s show some solidarity. The heterosexual person doesn’t truly have the freedom to marry if that person wants to marry two or more. The gay person or the bisexual person doesn’t truly have the freedom to marry if that person wants to marry two or more. This is why we need full marriage equality.

There is no good reason to deny an adult the freedom to marry any and all consenting adults.
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Ick" Is Not a Justification For Bigoted Laws

Bridgette P. LaVictoire says the “ick” factor should not be used against consenting adults in their sex lives.

A large part of the reason for people- especially men- to push back against homosexuality- especially gay male sexuality- has to do with the ‘ick factor’. That is, to many a straight man, gay sex is icky. It’s gross. It’s disgusting.

She explains…

The thing is, I find heterosexual sex to be as gross and icky as many of those who find homosexual sex to be gross and icky find that to be. In other words- the idea of a woman- any woman- having sex with a man is disturbing to the extreme. I already covered part of this in another piece I did, but it comes out flatly that I am grossed out when I see a woman and a man having sex; I feel disturbed when I see women holding hands with men; and I just find it plain out wrong when women kiss men.

Later…

None of this really gives me a rational basis for arguing that, say, heterosexual sex is wrong and should be outlawed, or that relationships between women and men should not exist. Just because I find heterosexuality to be gross or men to be horrible does not mean that I must impose my views on others, or try to force society to accept a world where women are superior to men and that lesbianism is above all other forms of sexuality. While I feel those things, that is not an argument. It is an emotional response.

Thank you, Bridgette P. LaVictoire. Read her whole explanation. The “ick factor” should not be used to deny consenting adults their right to love, sex, and marriage regardless of gender, number, or relation.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Down with H8 - Up With Marriage Equality For All

With so many people filing papers with the US Supreme Court to argue against DOMA and Prop H8, I wanted to bump up this old entry because it is still relevant...


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