Thursday, May 10, 2018

Some States are Better Than Others For Consanguinamorists

The United States claims to be the land of the free, where everyone has equal rights, but these ideals still haven't been achieved, even just considering relationships and marriage for consenting adults. Some states are better than others when we consider laws and overall social attitudes.

Laws vary from state to state when it comes to consanguinamory.

While no state will knowingly marry blood (genetic) siblings, whether half or full, nor a parent or grandparent and a grown child or grandchild, Ohio has no criminal laws against adult siblings being together sexually, and things are even better (legally, anyway) in New Jersey and Rhode Island, where there are no laws at all (other than the denial of marriage) against consanguineous lovers, including adults being with their parents. Contrast this with states like Texas, where first cousins are treated like criminals for having sex, even though first cousins can legally marry in about half of the states.

States that had "anti-sodomy" laws, meant to criminalize people in same-sex relationships, and had those laws struck down by the Supreme Court, may not technically criminalize same-sex consanguinamory because their anti-consanguinamory laws may have addressed heterosexuality specifically due to the general criminalization of gays, bisexuals, etc.

Someone asked a question by commenting on this entry on Oregon, and in looking the answer up for myself, I was pleasantly surprised that Oregon apparently doesn't criminalize as "incest" sex between adults and their aunts or uncles, though it does criminalize siblings and adults-with-parents or grandparents. I'm not a lawyer and this blog doesn't offer legal advice, but that's how it looks to me...


(1) A person commits the crime of incest if the person marries or engages in sexual intercourse or oral or anal sexual intercourse with a person whom the person knows to be related to the person, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant or brother or sister of either the whole or half blood.

(2) Incest is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §172; 2017 c.318 §12]
It's ridiculous that a state or other jurisdiction would criminalize any love between consenting adults, but it's always nice to be able to tell someone if their relationship or potential relationship wouldn't land them in prison where they live.

Our general advice to consanguinamorists is to move, if at all possible, to a place where your love isn't criminalized. That doesn't protect them from harassment, discrimination, and other results of prejudice, however. So it can also be important to move to where people don't know your relation, protect yourself physically and in general, and keep quiet about the complete nature of your love. The people in some places are more accepting and respecting of privacy than others, some more open-minded about sex and relationships than others.

When it comes to the laws of any specific place, check with a criminal and/or family law attorney who knows the laws and legal climate of that state, territory, province, or jurisdiction. Relationships between adoptive and step-family can be criminalized, depending on the place.

Some states may allow uncle-niece marriage under certain circumstances. Given the legal principal of equality, it would logically follow that uncles could also marry nephews and aunts could marry nieces and nephews, but sometimes laws are inconsistent and need to be challenged. This is why it makes sense for the courts to make it clear that an adult is free to marry any and all consenting adults.

There are genetic siblings (some of them half siblings) in the US who've been able to get marriage licenses from a state and thus be recognized as legally married for the purposes of things like insurance, taxes, financial accounts, next-of-kin standing, beneficiary standing, etc. This has been because their birth certificates (which are often used to verify eligibility to marry) do not show a common parent (which can happen for many different reasons) and they did not disclose to state/local officials their genetic relation. Unfortunately, if authorities discover their genetic relation, while the spouses can claim ignorance to that genetic relation, they can still have their marriage declared legally null and they can be subject to prosecution for staying together. If it can be shown they knew about their genetic relation, they could also be charged with a crime relating to the filing of the marriage license. It's outrageous, but that's what we're striving to change sooner rather than later.

So please be mindful of where you live or are planning to move, and who knows what about your love.
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1 comment:

  1. In some of those states, the lack of criminal penalty is just a legal accident. I don’t think New Jersey or Rhode Island are really safe havens for consangs. You might not be prosecuted if you’re outed, but don’t expect to be loved either.


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