Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Not Complicated

Elizabeth Abbott asks, “In a liberal society, is polygamy still intolerable?” Much of her piece dwells on what has, or has been alleged to have, happened in Bountiful.

Most convincing, perhaps, was the testimony of former FLDS members. Carolyn Jessop, who fled a community in Utah with her eight children in the middle of the night, summed it up well: “Polygamy is not pretty to look at. It is nice that it is tucked away in a dark corner where nobody has to see its realities, because it’s creepy.”

However, if I recall correctly, she actually agreed that legalizing the polygamous freedom to marry would be beneficial.

Abbott gets into the complications of divorce as a problem with legalizing polygamy.

Finally, what, if any, of their contribution would she have a right to? The women didn’t marry each other; they married their husband.

Actually, that would be up to each set of spouses to decide themselves the exact spousal relationship. If they want a triangle instead of a vee, that is up to them.

And that’s why it would not only be infinitely complicated to apply divorce law to polygamy; it would never meet Western liberal standards of fairness. A husband could always dilute his wife’s stake in the family assets by unilaterally deciding to marry another wife.

All of these concerns have been dealt with, and should not be used to deny a fundamental right such as the freedom to marry.

She even includes an answer...

American legal scholar Adrienne Davis, who believes that conventional family law rooted in monogamous marriage may not be up to attempts at cobbling polygamous marriage onto it, points out an alternative: commercial partnership law. Typically used when two or more parties go into business, according to Davis it would certainly address “polygamy’s central conundrum: ensuring fairness and establishing baseline behaviour in contexts characterized by multiple partners, on-going entrances and exits, and life-defining economic and personal stakes.” Of course, there would be a huge administrative cost to both adapting the model to marriage, and to ensuring that over the course of a union all partners consented to any new additions to it and renegotiated their respective rights as the landscape changed.

Legalizing polygamy will not clog our systems. Every legal marriage already involves laws and marriage licenses and may involve prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, and every divorce involves paperwork and courts or arbitration. It’s not like an additional courtroom will be needed because the divorce involves a polygamous marriage. One judge or one arbitrator can decide, just as they do with monogamous marriages.

If anything, legalizing polygamy may actually reduce the divorce rate, as there are divorces that happen now because the ban on polygamy forces some married couples who have found new primary lovers to divorce each other in order to provide legal standing to their new primaries, when in some cases, they would have rather remained legally married to each other as well. Also, legalizing polygamy can reduce the amount of probate paperwork as there is more likely to be a surviving legal spouse who will retain the estate upon a death, as opposed to the estate having to be dissolved.

Referencing same-sex marriage, she writes…

The former brought people into an existing system of rights; the latter poses a significant threat to that system. And that’s probably our cue, as a liberal society, to hold our noses and draw the line.

What? How does polygamy pose any threat to the system? How is it not bringing people into the existing system? The case wasn’t made in the piece. See Discredited Argument #8. Two men should be able to marry. One man should also be able to marry two men. Three men should be able to marry each other. They should be able to do that even if they are closely related. None of those scenarios hurts anyone else.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

A Feminist Revisits Polygamy

Jessica Mack has followed up on her “Is Polygamy Inherently Bad for Women?” She looked back at the Canadian poly trial…

So what’s the takeaway? First, I think the disparity in stories should suggest a re-focus from persecution of the general (polygamy writ large) to accountability for the particular (instances of abuse). It’s irresponsible to allow one voice or story to stand for many, especially when it comes to survivors. For example, Carolyn Jessop’s famously singular memoir about being a polygamous wife of Warren Jeffs certainly stands, but should do so on its own.

Moreover, I think it’s important to remember that the stories of abuse and oppression emerging have been happening already, right under the nose of Canadian and US law enforcement officials, and under laws that already criminalize polygamy. Perhaps what these testimonies should point out first and foremost is the failure of the Canadian state to implement its laws and protect its women.

She picks apart the prejudiced attacks on the polygamous freedom to marry…

Their assertion that: “the greater prevalence of monogamy has gone hand in hand with the gradual rise of democracy” is nothing more than an axiom (which I’d like a citation for); It is not a compelling argument to me for why polygamy is inherently wrong.

If there is a timeline correlation, it does not establish causation.

If Canada and the US have failed thus far at protecting their citizens experiencing abuse in polygamous communities, couldn’t de-criminalizing it offer our systems a second chance to step up and protect women’s rights?

Yes. Bring polygamy out of the shadows so that good citizens aren’t prosecuted and don’t fear the authorities simply because they are married to more than one spouse or are married to someone who is. That will make it easier to bust abusers, because more victims and witnesses will come forward.

Go read the whole thing. Artificially and externally limiting a woman's choices in marriage in no way protects her. Denying a child's parents a legal marriage may disadvantage the child.

Erik comments truthfully…

It would be extremely dangerous – and indeed on par with the anti-gay marriage camp – to say that there is any type of relationship arrangement that is inherently bad for either men or women (or indeed children). Polygamy or polyamory, monogamy or cuckoldry, the fairness etc. of these relationships really depends on the specific situation and those involved – consent, equality, etc. The media is right to out those situations where coercion or abuse is occurring, but they shouldn’t extrapolate to a general criticism of a relationship type.

Thank you, Erik!
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Benefits From Polyamory

At Steve Pavlina’s website, there’s this discussion about experience with polyamory. Velorien reported…

I entered my second triad a few months ago. My partner of five years (F) is a heterosexual, strictly monoamorous woman (i.e. she hasn't been seriously interested in any other men since she fell in love with me), while I'm a (mostly) heterosexual, strongly polyamorous man. Our new partner (R) is a bisexual, moderately polyamorous woman - we've both known her for five years as friends.

He lists some of the benefits…

Benefit 1) A lot of extra love. It may be obvious, but it's worth saying. Each person in the triad is loved by two people. When all three of us are together, no matter what we're doing, it makes us even happier than when it's just one of the dyads.

Benefit 2) Extra support. Each of us has two people with a deep interest in our welfare and a commitment to support us. Even if two of us have a conflict, it is possible for the third to support both in resolving it in a loving fashion. This has happened, and made life a lot easier for all concerned.

Benefit 3) Division of labour. Our interests and beliefs overlap a lot, but there are some things which we may not want to do with one person but can do with the other. I share my spiritual beliefs with one partner but not the other. I am more compatible sexually with one partner than the other. I have broad tastes in anime, and watch things with each partner that the other doesn't like. Likewise, I have no interest in music or singing, whereas F and R are former and current choir girls respectively who enjoy going to concerts together.

Benefit 4) Accelerated personal growth. While this is not an absolute rule of human relationships, I find it a lot easier to get to know a romantic partner deeply and quickly than a platonic friend. I'm still learning a lot from F, and I'm learning even faster from R because she has a lot of new things to share. I get to do both at the same time, and I get to pass on insights from each one to the other as they come.

There are plenty of other things as well.

Polyamorous people should have the right to pursue the relationships that benefit them, including marriage.
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A Way of Thinking of Polyamory

Rowdy explains his polyamorous heart.

I like to think of my polyamorous heart as a house with many rooms. It’s constructed by the people I love, and filled with warmth and memories. It grows as each person I love adds something to my house, maybe a decoration or boardgame, maybe an entire new room.

Many people enter my heart, friends and strangers, and hang around in the common spaces... sometimes just a short while, and sometimes much longer. They wear down the floors and scuff the walls, they throw parties and help me fix the place up.

Each new romantic love builds their own room, an addition onto my house. We work on it together and it grows over time, a special place filled with emotions, experiences, and memories. There is always space to add another room, and build additions onto the rooms already built - it only takes time and energy, the material provided by our lives. No two rooms are alike, each one shaped by the person who built it.

Read the whole thing.

A person can authoritatively deny that he or she can love more than one person at a time in a romantic or erotic sense. But they can't speak for others. Others people can love more than one person. Other people should be allowed their right to do so.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Still No Good Reason to Deny Freedom to Marry

Discussions about the legal and social phohibitions against consensual incest (consanguineous sex and consanguinamory) seem to pop up everywhere. I think this is a good thing, because over and over again, it demonstrates that there is no legitimate, rational basis to deny consenting adults their right to love, sex, and marriage. Usually, someone will note the lack of such basis, and those who support the denial of rights will counter with “I would’t want to do it” or “Gross!” or some other response that doesn’t provide a good reason to perpetuate the unjust laws and social prohibitions.

Another recent example of this is this discussion at “” Johnny Green VI wrote…

I Don't See Anything Immoral About Incestuous Sex

If it's consensual between two family members, how is there any harm to anyone? I just don't understand how society can try and tell someone who it is and isn't acceptable to have sex with.

I have yet to read a valid argument as to why incest is wrong.

This challenge to provide a valid argument went unmet, the last I checked the discussion. Thankfully, some allies checked in.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poly Glossary

Do you know what adelphogamy is? Compersion? Polykoity? Troilism?

Thanks to Anie at Morally Responsible, I found this helpful glossary by Franklin Veaux that is intended to be “a guide to many of the terms you might hear in the polyamorous community.”

I have a much more limited glossary related to full marriage equality right here.
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Latino Cousins

At Things Latinos Love or Hate, the writer claims that Latinos “love incest.”

I know, I know, it is WRONG, and abominable, but it is the TRUTH!

Consanguinamory is not wrong per se.

Latinos practice incest. We are sure somebody in your family or someone you know married a relative/cousin. That is where the old saying came about “Los primos se esprimen.” Don’t persecute us, we did not make the rules. We are the new generation, we blame our parents, the baby boomers who got fed up with all of the wars, and decided to do a bit of disruption of their own. I am not advocating it, but c’mon now, Latinos are good looking people. Incest is bound to happen especially when there are good genes in the family. Blame our DNA! There are times we have family reunions, you finally get to meet your uber handsome third cousin who you had no idea existed until now, and you ask, “Third cousin is not really related right?” And one of your shameless relatives will respond, “You share a little teeny tiny bit of blood, but not much, go for it chica!”

In many US states, first cousins can have a heterosexual marriage, provided neither one is already married. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, same-sex first cousins can also marry, provided neither one is already married. Heterosexual first-cousin marriages are valid and widely practiced in many countries around the world.
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Famous Authors for $100, Alex

Molly McCloskey reviewed Judy Golding's memoir of her father, novelist William Golding.

The reality of her femaleness was awkward for her father: “He found incest both natural and absorbing – in theory.”

I must confess I am ignorant of the meaning of this. Like anyone else who did their schoolwork, I read Lord of the Flies many years ago, but I am unaware of any writings by Golding referring to either sexual abuse of children or consanguineous sex between adults, or anything of the sort in his own life. The review of Judy Goldng's memoir did not elaborate.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Consanguinamory on TV

Sam Berns has a light-hearted write-up, having noticed consensual incest (consanguinamory) being a subject on TV lately…

Now maybe it’s because I just read Hamlet and Hamlet in the play misuses the term incest(in my opinion) so I have noticed it more, or maybe it’s because I know a product of incest personally, or maybe it’s just because I have a very twisted mind. Maybe all three?

I’d like to hear more about the person the writer knows and the parents. I’m aware of, but haven’t watched, the shows to which the writer refers…

Anyways, on The Borgias takes place in the late 1400’s with the Borgias Family rising to the top of the Vatican with Rodrigo Borgias becoming the pope through murder and bribery. But the incest comes with his children Cesare Borgia and his sister Lucrezia Borgias. Now these two get intimate, they are yet to show them actually make out or do the beats with two backs, but there is some sexual tension which could be compared to that of a homeless man and his pet dog.

The Borgias were real people, but from what I understand, historians are unsure about whether or not any of them engaged in consanguineous sex. The other show is entirely fiction…

But the incest gets way more graphic in The Game of Thrones which premiered last night on HBO. Let me just say I have fallen in love with this show, I have this attachment to the character Bran who is a 10 year old boy who has a pet wolf, it reminds me of me and my dog Tibby(F--- you who thought I had some disgusting sexual attraction to the kid..Perverts). Anyways, I am not going to delve to deep into the plot of this show as it is so convoluted, but it’s pretty f---ing awesome if you enjoy kings, and swords, fantasy, sex, and good characters. But basically, at the end of the episode SPOILER ALERT a brother and sister, one whom is the Queen to the land, and the other who is part of the Kings Guard which could be compared to the secret service or the pimps thugs, end up shagging like they’re some rabbits jacked up on mountain dew.

As I’ve said before, a cansanguinamorous relationship is a useful plot element because of the legal, social, and religious restrictions that have been placed on consanguineous lovers, depending on the setting. I am interested in how these relationships are potrtayed. It would nice to have more positive portrayals. There are admirable people who have had that kind of relationship and there was nothing dark about it.

Have you watched either show?
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Slamming Those Experiencing GSA

Writing about consanguinamorous father and dauther Garry Ryan and Penny Lawrence, David wrote “Some Call It Genetic Sexual Attraction, Incest By Any Other Name Is Still Incest.” Slams like this one ignore the fact that some people experiencing GSA do not even engage in sexual behavior with close biological relatives.

The BU household immediately thought, oh my gosh, how disgusting!

To each his own. Some people are digusted by the thought of any sex between men, others by the thought of any sex between a man and a woman, others by the idea of sex at all. Some people are digusted by the idea of eating spinach, others by the idea of eating meat. To each his own.

To the old fashion BU household we believe what we have here is incest, pure and simple.

Well, yes, it is incest. It is also intercourse. So what? Is this some attempt to equate this with incestuous child rape, which is something entirely different than consanguinamory between adults?

Older Barbadians would understand the term inbreeding and the attendant issues of physical defects passed on often times to the offspring.

That’s Discredited Argument #18.

Some will offer the excuse that this kind of thing has been happening for a long time.

Consensual relationships between adults should not need an excuse.

Nowadays it appears the same behaviour is worn as if it were a badge of honour.

If people have found love with each other, that’s a great thing. Why deny that to someone? Envy? Jealousy?

The writer never explains his disbelief in the claim of GSA. Mostly what we see here and in other writings from others is a lot of bluster about being disgusted. What if someone took to their blogs to write about how disgusted they were by David’s love life?
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Cracking Down on Fiction in Japan

Looks like someone wants to change the perception that peope in Japan appreciate consanguinamory.

Manga creator Masahiro Itosugi announced on her Twitter account on Thursday that there will be no more printings of volumes 1 and 3 in her Aki Sora manga after July. She then explained that the biggest problem is their depictions of incest; she emphasized that the reason is not because they are erotically graphic. The manga deals with the taboo relationship between a high school boy named Sora Aoi and his smart, athletic, "perfect" older sister Aki.

The restrictions in Tokyo's recently amended Youth Healthy Development Ordinance go into effect on July 1. The amendment will expand the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Erotic material was already restricted before the amendment, but the amended law will also restrict the sales and renting of materials that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government considers "to be excessively disrupting of social order."

What do you think? It is a bad move, or is it reasonable in order to limit access to those under 18? Should people under the age of 18 never have any access to any media that includes the idea of consanguinamory?

There are people under the age of 18 who are experiencing attraction to family members who are close in age, unrequieted or otherwise. Many of them experiment with each other. Some of them develop lifelong romances. Being that age can feel lonely and confusing enough as it is. Teens need to know that they aren't alone in their feelings, and what is appropriate (mutual love and respect) and what is not (coercion, fixation that interferes with living.)
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Support Full Marriage Equality on Facebook

I'm back! I hope the bunny treated you very well. A kind soul in the UK has started a way to support full marriage equality on Facebook. I recommend joining up at these links:

The Group - I Support Full Marriage Equality

The Cause - I Support Full Marriage Equality

Join up and network!
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Friday, April 22, 2011


May not be able to update much 'til Monday. Hope the bunny is very good to you.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Does Japanese Culture Promote Consanguinamory More?

Someone asked, "Why does Japan seemingly market incestuous relationships?”

I have seen that it seems in Japanese culture, whether that be values, common, media, they seemingly advertise sex among blood relations, close relatives. or non-blood near relationships.

Examples like love-hotel and the television sequence Kiss X Sis, would seem just SICKENING to me. I am just curious although as to why they go to these extent to encourage it.

I can understand that some people find some form of consensual sex sickening. Different people may be sickened by different things. That is their own issue, as long as they do not try to stop others.

I’m not sure if there is more of a depiction of consanguineous sex and consanguinamory in Japanese media than the media of other cultures, but certainly there is no small amount.

Instances of sex between close relatives, such as siblings, are not uncommon anywhere in the world. Many people have engaged in such activity, whether as youthful experimentation, part of a lifelong love, or something between. And many who haven’t have wanted to.

A response came from a Japanese person…

It is just culturally prohibited but not legislated. There is no law by government.

Incestuous relationships is very troublesome to handle as a crime, it is because the relationship is very close, then it is family themselves who take the worst damage. If the victim is children, the father/mother is arrested, but how children could live with everyone/people lives in same district knowing that happening. So it is rubbed out.

Child abuse should be talked about. It should be prosecuted. Consensual sex should not be prosecuted.

I think Japanese love to see such prohibited affair. For example, samurai fall in love with a farmer, or affair with customer’s lady. I think incestuous relationships is just a kind of such fetishism.

For some it is a fetish. For others, it is a natural curiosity or development in their lives.

The sex police have made consanguineous sex and consanguinamory taboo, yet media documenting or portraying these things is in high demand. Perhaps the social prohibitions have made them more interesting and exciting? Perhaps people who have engaged in such relationships, or want to, appreciate knowing that they are not alone? There is a long tradition in media of portraying lovers someone else wants to keep apart; lovers who feel pressure to hide their love. Given the laws and prejudice against consanguinamory, a story that contains it can easily use it as a major plot device.
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Arrested For Consensual Sex

There are a couple of reports out of Malawi about people being arrested for consensual sex. The age of consent in Malawi is 14. The first report I found was about a brother and sister.

Police in Salima have arrested Rodrick Elisa (18) and Sellina Elisa (16) for having sex relationship that has resulted in a four-month pregnancy.

They have been charged of incest.

They were both arrested and charged. Who is the “victim?”

According to section 157 of the penal code, a male who has canal knowledge of a sister, mother, daughter and granddaughter knowingly is guilty of incest.

According to Malawi News Agency report which quoted Central Region Police spokesperson John Namalenga, the two started having a sexual relationship in January 2011.

It sounds to me like the only problem is that they aren’t using contraception, which they really should at such a young age.

He said the children’s mother discovered the existence of the affair on April 15 2011 after noting physical body changes in Sellina and reported the matter to Salima Police Station.

So their mother is the rat. Perhaps she should have instructed them about their contraception options in the first place?

I was able to find another report out of Malawi from the same news source. This one is about a mother and son.

Malawi Police have arrested a 44-year-old woman in Mzimba for having sex with her biological son and charged them with incest.

Again, if both are being charged with a crime, who is the victim?

According to Mzimba Police spokesperson George Kondowe, Naomi Kalua was having sex romps with her son Matthews Kalua, 26, after meeting at a local pub. They come from Mkhulu Soko Village, Traditional Authority Chindi.

Quoted by The Nation, Kondowe said: “They [mother and son] left the drinking joint together for home at around 4pm. Upon reaching home, they went straight to the house of the mother where they closed the door behind them. However, one of the woman’s elder sons went to his mother’s house but found the door closed. He forced the door open after noticing that there was no response despite knocking repeatedly.

“When the elder son entered the house, he heard [someone] groaning from his mother’s bedroom and this made him to be suspicious,” said Kondowe.

He must have known what was going on, even if he didn’t know between whom. Perhaps he was jealous?

Police spokesman said the elder son immediately called a female neighbour to find out what was happening in his mother’s bedroom and the neighbour is said to have witnessed the two having sizzling sex.

Officers at Euthini Police Unit arrested the mum and her son.

Incest charge carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Five years in prison for consensual sex with another adult? Why can’t people mind their own business? Why can’t the police respond to such reports with a polite rebuff, explaining that they have more serious matters to deal with? If adults have found love, or at least enjoyment with each other, what is the problem?

Worldwide, adults should be free to pursue their right to love, sex, and marriage with any consenting adults.
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Loving Marriages Are Not Freakish

Kellie Herson, while referring to TLC programming as a “freakshow,” still shows that “Sister Wives” helps to teach people that polygyny is not strange.

I hate all these shows, and I feel weird and guilty watching them, and yet every Sunday night, you will invariably find at least two of my housemates and me watching TLC with our mouths hanging open, appreciating what we lovingly refer to as the "Sunday Night Freakshow."

The lineup seems to switch up every week, although Sister Wives has a fairly consistent presence. I think the point of this show is to give the people it documents (a polygamist family) an avenue by which to make polygamy seem normal and non-scary by explaining that polygamists don't have orgies.

In fact, these polygamists are pretty damn boring.

Real family life and real marriages can be boring, especially to outside observers. What is important to see and keep in mind is that it harms nobody to allow consenting adults their rights to love, sex, and marriage. Loving relationships don't make people freaks.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Younger Canadians More Likely to Support Freedom to Marry

Younger Canadians are more likely to support the polygamous freedom to marry than their older counterparts, according to a new poll.

Still, the poll shows an overall majority supporting the ban on polygamous marriages.

It is possible that poll respondents are basing their opinions on the negative portrayals of some people in Bountiful, and in that sense, the word does need to be spread about loving, consensual adults in polygamous marriages.

It could also be a matter of how the poll was conducted. If people were asked something like, “Should an adult be able to marry consenting adults?” there could have been a different result, esepcially if the people who answer negatively are asked to explain why not.

Regardless, marriage is a fundamental right, and we don’t allow majorities to take away rights from minorities. Otherwise, all sorts of rights would be denied.

As the older generations are replaced by younger generations, full marriage equality is inevitable. Canadians who currently opposed the polygamous freedom to marry should consider getting on the right side of history.
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Civil Unions Come to Delaware

The US state of Delaware is the latest state to add civil unions... but not the freedom to marry to same-sex couples or wider full marriage equality for all. Katherine Franke at the Columbia law blog examined the law.

The law repeats incest/filiation taboos commonly included in marriage laws by excluding from eligibility any person who seeks to be civilly unioned with “his or her ancestor, descendant, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew or first cousin.” This is curious since the typical justification for prohibiting marriages between persons of this degree of relation is concern about genetic mutations in off-spring, which concern clearly doesn’t apply when the union is between two persons of the same sex. But the incest exclusion is problematic for another reason. Nowhere in the eligibility criteria does the law state that the two parties have to be romantic or sexual partners. One can be civilly unioned with a friend, a colleague, a stranger (anyone watching Grey’s Anatomy?), really anyone – just not a relative. Yet there are thousands, if not millions, of people in the U.S. who live with their sister, their mother, their aunt or some other relative, functioning as domestic partners. These people are unable to have those domestic partnerships legally recognized by the new civil unions law because the law is intended to look as much like a marriage law as possible. What the law doesn’t do is take up an idea of family in a larger, more realistic way that captures interdependency rather than old-fashioned notions of the nuclear family (cue Nancy Polikoff here). So, the incest taboo survives to rule another day, and once again limits the rights available in a new, ostensibly progressive, change in the law.

These legal gymanastics should be put to rest in favor of full marriage equality. Why shouldn’t an adult be able to marry any consenting adults?

The new law is being celebrated as the next step on the way to full marriage rights for same-sex couples in Delaware. But can’t we do better than marriage-lite when we advocate for law reform in this area? The provisions I have highlighted above give us ample reason to be concerned about the social cost of securing legal rights for a narrow group of same-sex couples in Delaware at the expense of many, many others.

Civil unions are better than nothing, but same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry. They should have the freedom to marry even if they are close relatives. They should have the freedom to add another spouse. None of this should be anyone else’s business.
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Possible Case of GSA Leads to Father-Daughter Consanguinamory

Anna1981 wrote in the forum

After my parents divorce, my mother took my siblings and I to another state. We lost contact with my father. A year ago, I found him on Facebook and we began an email relationship which thrived. Six months ago we traveled about 100 miles to see each other. It was a great reunion. About three months ago, during an email conversation about our own personal basically, non-existent sex lives, he revealed he had a sexual attraction to me. I had also had one for him, but of course was ashamed and hadn't told anyone. Less than a month later we were in bed together and have been seeing each other personally and sexually since.

She concluded…

I don't know how it's going to continue or end, but currently we are both very happy.

They are happy together and there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed. This is yet another example of how laws and other forms of prejudice interfere with the happiness of adults. Anna and her father should not only have no fear of prosecution, they should be allowed to marry if they want.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Support for the Consanguineous Freedom to Marry

Teddy Papes makes the argument for the consanguineous freedom to marry.

The argument that it is gross certainly has no bearing. Many people are bothered by homosexual relationships and consider them unnatural or depraved. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that should not give these opinions any legal credibility. Our sensibilities changed for interracial marriage, our sensibilities are changing for gay marriage and our sensibilities should, and most likely will, change for incestuous marriages.

An anonymous response support full marriage equality…

I like the article and have often felt the same way. I would ask the author, and suggest as well, that this same concept should be applied to polygamy. Again, it would ONLY APPLY TO CONSENTING ADULTS, but if that caveat is fulfilled, I've never understood why some people can be so hypocritical, or at least, insensitive, while advocating gay marriage rights, and not those of other minority groups who are of legal age, and able to consent, but cannot get married.

Another anonymous comment was ridiculous, referring to same-sex marriage…

If it was supposed to happen, then homosexuals would be able to reproduce with each other. If any species is entirely homosexual, it could never survive.

This comment is based on the idea that marriage can only be about reproduction through sex. One must wonder if this person would prevent all people who are unable or unwilling to reproduce by having sex with each other from marrying. Cancer survivors, post-menopausal women… who else gets left out?

And, finally, another anonymous comment…

brothers marrying sisters? mothers marrying sons, fathers marrying daughters? at what age are they allowed to court?

The age of consent, of course, or in the case of minors who are close in age, whatever is allowed.

at what age, if this were a common practice, would they begin to find interest in the other?

The same as they do now. What does it matter? Minors find interest in each other all of the time, and aren’t of legal marrying age.

this completely breaks down a society and relationship structures and its ramifications would be insidious.

This is a form of Discredited Argument #19.

The fact is, there are consanguinamorous relationships. There is a good chance anyone reading this who is not involved in one themselves has known someone who is or has been in one, whether you know it or not. Some live as spouses, and they should have their marriages legalized if that is what they want. Others would marry if they could do so without the risk of prosecution or persecution. They should have that right.
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Adults Being Prosecuted in Scotland For Consensual Sex

The authorities in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland need to know that it is now 2011, and interfering in the private sex lives of consenting adults has gone the way of the horse and buggy. The case involves and uncle and niece.

Prosecutors say James Seath and Pamela Seath had sex at a flat in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

And what exactly is the problem with that? I notice that no negative consequences are cited.

The pair deny the allegations against them.

They shouldn’t have to be put into this position in the first place.

On Tuesday Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard that lawyers representing Pamela Seath, 25, are challenging the admissibility of crucial DNA evidence in the case.

James Seath, 38, of St Kilda Crescent, Kirkcaldy, and Pamela Seath, of Saunders Street, Kirkcaldy, both pled not guilty on indictment to one charge each of incest.

What a waste of resources, prosecuting these two.

The charges allege that they had sexual intercourse despite being related by blood as uncle and niece.

Why is this is crime?

The article doesn’t explain whether James is the brother of Pamela’s mother or father. I also notice that no other family members are mentioned in the article. Somebody must have ratted them out.

— — —

Brother Charged With Incest in Nova Scotia

The other shoe has dropped in the case I wrote about here. Now we know that two consenting adults are being prosecuted for a victimless “crime.” They’ve enjoyed sex together. And someone is upset by that, apparently.

A 19-year-old Amherst man failed to appear in provincial court Monday to face charges that he has been having sex with his sister.

The sister, 26, appeared in provincial court last week on the same charge - incest.

Both names are protected by a publication ban.

The real news here was buried…

He's also charged with assault on the sister, as well as breaking her glasses.

There is the story and possible crime. If he assaulted his sister and broke her property, prosecute him for that. Why is she being prosecuted at all? And neither one should be prosecuted for consensual sex. This sounds to me like possible case of domestic violence. “Man Allegedly Assaults Sister” is what the headline should have been.

It is ridiculous to waste police and court resources prosecuting consenting adults for having sex with each other. If all he did with her was make love to her, she'd certainly be better off than if he also attacked her. Every adult should have the right to love, sex, and marriage with any consenting adults.
— — —

Half Siblings Married

Michelle in the US spoke up at

I met my half brother via the internet in late 2009. It was an instant connection just like I've read from many others. We met in person the summer of 2010. I moved out of state in a matter of weeks to live with him. We married recently with no trouble, thanks in part to me not having a father listed on my birth certificate and not being in contact with the majority of our family. We are both pushing 40 and no plans for children. We don't have family support but do have a few close friends who accept us. We know what our sacrifices are and are willing to live with them. We love each other more every day and would do anything for the other. There is so much more to this story but I won't bore you with the details. I just wanted to say that I'm a firm believer in the possibility of making this work. For us it's almost effortless.

Congratulations to Michelle and her husband. Most states, if not all, would invalidate their marriage retroactively, and most of those would prosecute them should they be outed. This is unfortunate. They are a happy couple living as spouses. They shouldn’t have to hide, and others should be able to marry as they have.


Congrats!! You are living my dream!!


So happy for you! If my HB and I were both single, we would get married too. My birth farther isn't listed on my birth certificate and his step father abopted him at 16. So we know we could do it. But we are both married and have decided that there would be too much collateral damage. So we haven't crossed that line. Instead just dream about what it would be like.

I wish you both a lifetime of happiness. You have what I hope for.

Michelle returned to add…

It's amazing how 'right' it feels. Like our entire life was preparing us for this moment. We have a normal partnership that is, at the same time, so much more. We don't fuss over silly things, we seem to know what the other is thinking and feeling. We have some sort of strange connection, like I'll think of him and he calls. . . or he'll be thinking of what he would like for dinner and thats what I end up cooking that evening. Simple things that mean so much. The physical part is incredible. I am not a touchy feely kind of person but I can't get enough of his presence. It is truly like electric currents running through my body. And, most importantly, we put each others happiness above our own, which could be called selfish because we feel the others joy and sorrow as our own. I wouldn't change one second of our life and experiences for anything in the world.

Can anyone explain why people like Michelle and her husband should be denied the freedom to marry?
— — —

Monday, April 18, 2011

Editorial Attempts to Recap Polygamy Trial

There’s an editorial in a Canadian newspaper about the trial over the polygamous freedom to marry. Section 293 of the Criminal Code outlaws certain marriages.

That raised an unsettling possibility. If forced to decide, our courts might find that religious freedom trumps the ban on polygamy.

What would be unsettling about this? Freedom of association should be a basic human right, regardless of religion.

If the ban on polygamy is upheld, that means religious freedom is only a qualified right. Other interests must be weighed. However, if the ban is struck down, values such as gender equality and the rights of children take a back seat.

This is not the case. The rights of children would be improved. More children would grow up in a legal marriage, and wouldn no longer have to hide their family life from others. Gender equality is in no way compromised. The law wouldn’t mandate polygyny-only. Polyandry and other forms of polygamy would also be legal.

Of course, there have always been limits in matters of conscience. Doukhobor groups who used arson to publicize their goals in the 1960s and 1970s were prosecuted.

Wait, are people who love more than one other adult being compared to arsonists? Polyamory can be hot, but not that kind of hot.

Supporters of polygamy argue it is merely a willing transaction between adults.

Isn’t that undeniable?

Some have compared the ban to laws that once made homosexual activities a crime.

Both bans try to control the marital and sex lives of consenting adults.

But government lawyers point out that polygamy often leads to abusive practices.

Any human interaction “often” leads to abusive practices.

The court heard testimony that one of the Bountiful leaders took his 15-year-old daughter to the United States to be married, and brought back with him a bride of the same age.

I fail to see why this should be used to prevent three 30-year-olds from marrying.

In many countries where polygamy is lawful, women are treated as second-class citizens.

In many of those countries, people ride bicycles.

And how are the interests of children to be protected?

The same way they are in any other situation. Actually, the polygamous freedom to marry will make it more likely the child abusers will be caught, because witnesses can come forward without fear of being criminalized for simply being in a polygamous marriage.

Monogamous marriage has proved a vital and useful institution. We should think long and hard before weakening it.

How does allowing polyamorous people the freedom to marry hurt anyone else’s marriage?

Canada must keep moving towards full marriage equality. Let it do so, and let this shame the countries that still deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples and polyamorous families, especially its neighbor to the south.
— — —

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chief Justice Robert Bauman Must Rule For Freedom in Canada

The trial over the polygamous freedom to marry in Canada is now with the chief justice, who should be on the right side of history, ruling to increase the freedom to marry. Here's Daphne Bramham's take.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association summarized the position succinctly this week:

"By intruding into adults' decisions about the form of conjugal relationship that best meets their personal needs and aspirations, the law overextends the reach of the criminal law into individuals' private lives, intruding into their most private relationships."

While acknowledging that some of the evidence was shocking, the challengers argued that criminal laws such as those governing sexual exploitation, abuse or trafficking are more appropriate than using the polygamy law.

Prosecute abusers. Let consenting adults marry. Canada should lead the way in North America in moving towards full marriage equality. The bigots tried to deny the same-sex freedom to marry, now they want to stop the polygamous freedom to marry. Don't let them stand in the way of progress.
— — —

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Consenting Adults Sentenced to Prison For Having Sex

Half siblings are being imprisoned in Zimbabwe for having consensual sex.

A man from Shabulana village in Lupane who had an affair with and impregnated his own sister twice has been slapped with a 36-month jail term for incest.

The sister was also sentenced to 15 months for the same offence.

Khumbulani Lunga (28) and Kristin Sibanda (18) share the same mother though they have different fathers.

From March last year to March this year, the two consented to having a sexual relationship which resulted in Sibanda falling pregnant twice, although she miscarried on both occasions.

The matter only came to light after the pair’s relatives noticed that Sibanda had had a miscarriage.

Why would the relatives rat them out to police?

Both Lunga and Sibanda pleaded guilty to incest when they appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba.

The magistrate convicted and sentenced Lunga to 36 months in jail and suspended six months of the sentence for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Sibanda was sentenced to 15 months in jail, wholly suspended on condition she performed 525 hours of community service at Tiki Primary School in Lupane.

It should not be a crime in the first place.

In passing a lengthy jail term, the court considered that Lunga was formally married but cheated his sister into an incestuous relationship.

Cheated her? No quote from his wife. Perhaps that marriage was over, or perhaps it was open or they had some other arrangement? I don't see why his marital status is relevant to the criminal case.An adult should be able to legally have sex with any consenting adults.
— — —

Friday, April 15, 2011

National Day of Silence

It's a day of silence, especially in schools, to bring awareness to the prejudice and inequality suffered by LGBT people. Along with allies, I also think poly people and consanguinamorous people should participate. Everyone should have the freedom to be themselves. Every adult should have the right to love, sex, and marriage with ANY consenting adults.
— — —

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Robert Wickett Argues Against Guilt by Association

Representing the FLDS in the Canadian poly trial, Robert Wickett argues against guilt by association, against blaming polygamy for the things only some individuals may have done, and against tearing families apart.

“This church, like any other, is comprised of a vast variety of people. Most are hard-working, law abiding citizens. Some may have committed crimes, but it would be wrong to visit the crimes of some upon an entire community.”

Isn’t that a basic notion of justice?

Mr. Wickett said if the law is upheld, those families would have two choices: they could either voluntarily end their marriages, in some cases separating children from their parents, or face criminal charges.

“I urge you to consider the impact of those inevitable prosecutions upon the families in Bountiful,” Mr. Wickett told Chief Justice Robert Bauman.

The law would “dismember their families.”

The law banning polygamous marriages must be thrown out. Adults should have the freedom to marry.
— — —

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CPAA Lawyer Argues For Equality

Another report from the closing arguments of the Canadian poly trial.

A lawyer for so-called polyamorists says their non-religious, egalitarian relationships are the "Achilles heel" in the governments' defence of the anti-polygamy law.

“So-called?” If they need to qualify it, how about “self-described” or “self-identified?”

Their lawyer, John Ince, says the group conducted a survey of polyamorists in Canada and received about 560 responses - far more than the estimated 100 polygamists living in the controversial religious commune of Bountiful, B.C.

Poly people are everywhere. Most hide the fact that they are poly, at least from those who aren’t, because of discrimination perpetuated in part by the very law in question.

The provincial and federal governments have justified the law by pointing to allegations of abuse in Bountiful, but Ince says those stories don't describe the caring, committed relationship of polyamorists.

He says the current polygamy law appears to criminalize polyamorists, which he says makes it difficult for them to live openly and puts them in constant fear of authorities, especially when it comes to custody of their children.

It’s time to let people love each other openly, and marry each other if they want. The court should do the right thing and rule for this freedom to marry.
— — —

George Macintosh Gives Closing Argument For Equality

Kudos to George Macintosh for his excellent closing argument in the Canadian poly trial for the polygamous freedom to marry. You should read all of his quotes in this article.

George Macintosh says removing polygamy from the Criminal Code would have the same positive effect as the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969.

"In this sense, (the anti-polygamy law) is precisely the same as the law against homosexual sex, which was struck down in Canada 42 years ago," Macintosh said Tuesday during his final arguments at a landmark B.C. court case.

"Only then could gays and lesbians begin to live a life with dignity."

As we all know, although “gay/lesbian/bisexual or heterosexual” is a different category than “monogamous or polygamous,” but both categories involve the rights of consenting adults to love the person(s) they do in the way best for them. There are gay monogamists and heterosexual polygamists, and heterosexual monogamists and gay polygamists. All should have the freedom to marry.

"The criminalization of polygamy is perpetuating prejudice and perpetuating stereotyping," he said. "The criminalization of polygamy has been used to target groups that are already disadvantaged. The clearest examples are fundamentalist Mormons and aboriginal persons."

The law shouldn't be used to disadvantage minorities and make them second class citizens.

He also argued the polygamy law is an unfair intrusion into the sexual lives of consenting adults.

"The law has generally not punished adultery, despite the enormous costs it can entail. Nor does the law prohibit group sex or swinging if it is done in private," he said.

"But it is criminal for them to form a conjugal union."

The sensible thing is to move towards full marriage equality.
— — —

Woman Charged With Incest in Nova Scotia

Something is rotten in Nova Scotia, Canada

A 26-year-old Amherst female is facing a charge of incest.

The female, who can't be identified due to a publication ban, is charged with having sexual intercourse while knowing the partner was her brother.
The article does not indicate the age of her brother, does not imply this was anything other than consensual, and does not say that the brother has been charged.

So what are we to make of this story, which suffers from lack of detail?

I notice that the charge is not rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, or child molestation, and the brother is called a "partner."

Based on all of this, are we to assume that the brother was a willing participant, but younger than her?

I wish we had more information. As it is, it appears to me that this is a ridiculous prosecution and the whole thing should be dropped. She should be allowed to marry him, if that is what they want. People should have the right to consensual sex without fear that their own government is going to imprison or fine them.

UPDATE: The brother is of age and is also being prosecuted.
— — —

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Children in Poly Homes

One of the arguments made against polyamory and the polygamous freedom to marry is the accusation that it is harmful to children (a Discredited Argument). The work of Deborah Anapol, Ph.D continues to be adapted in blog form, and in this entry she discusses the issue of children and polyamory.

Many people assume that it's harmful for children to have more than two parents. Of course, multiple parents are common in stepfamilies, where a child may have as many as four parents from two blended families.

A lot more than four, as second marriages in the “monogamous” practice, statistically, are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Many “monogamous” parents will also have lovers in the home that they do not marry. Nonsexual roommates may also take on some parenting roles. It hardly makes sense to deny stable, established polyamorous parents the right to parent their children in a polyamorous home.

In the many cultures where polygyny is permitted, children often grow up with several mothers who cooperate in caring for each other's children. And from time immemorial, older brothers and sisters, as well as extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, have shared family compounds and taken on significant roles as caretakers.

She looked for parallels in the LGBT community, due to a lack of funded research into the issue when it comes to poly families.

The GLBT research has found that essentially all the pressure the children of homosexual parents face is from outside the family. In other words, nothing has been found in the families themselves that's a problem for the children, but they do encounter judgments, prejudice, and negative attitudes from outsiders, such as teachers or neighbors, or are concerned about appearing different. The same appears to be somewhat true for children in polyamorous families, although one bisexual poly parent told me that his teenage son's perception was that polyamory was more acceptable than bisexuality among his peers.

So if you don’t want children of poly or LGBT parents to suffer, don’t bully their families.

As with gay and lesbian parents, allowing poly parents to marry the people they love if they want to would improve the lives of children being raised by those parents.
— — —

Dreams of Consanguineous Sex

Ami Angelowicz offers “Decode My Dream: 5 Gross Dream Symbols Explained.”

Have you ever had a dream that was so gross or bizarre that you woke up and felt embarrassed to have even dreamed it? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.

So what does Ami call “gross?”

Just because you dreamed of having sex with your mother doesn’t mean you are destined to gauge [sic] your eyes out like Oedipus.

And in case you’re not clear on show Ami feels about consanguineous sex…

After the jump, the meaning behind five really disgusting yet very common dream symbols.

Some adults enjoy sex with their mother or other close family members. Some of them are married to each other in every way but in the eyes of the law. Why hate on their love by calling it “gross” or “disgusting” as if everyone feels the same way? There are lesbians who think heterosexual sex is disgusting. There are heterosexuals who think gay sex is disgusting. There are people you see together and you don’t want to picture them having sex with each other because the idea disgusts you. But are you so quick to say so out loud, and assume everyone agrees?

Dreams of hooking up or even having sex with your family members or close friends can be the most unsettling kind of dreams to have. Relax. You don’t actually want to do your brother.

Not in all cases, but in some cases, yes. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar.

And ewww, by the way.

The writer protests quite a bit, no?

Sex dreams are about merging or connecting with someone. It can be a longing for love from that person, a symbol of the current state of your relationship with them, or even a desire to adopt some of that person’s thoughts or attitudes as your own. After having an incestuous sexual dream, no need to feel ashamed. However, you may want to spend some time reflecting on your relationship with that person.

There’s no need to feel ashamed about actually enjoying consanguineous sex, either.
— — —

Monday, April 11, 2011

Being Open Works For Him

The Relationship Experiment is a blog that is “Exploring our Turned On Minds and Bodies Through Open Relationship.” The blogger answers “Why Polyamory?”

After a series of failed monogamous relationships, I decided to try something new.

I had experienced the gamut of traditional relationships: being faithful, being cheated on, being the cheater, jumping from one relationship to another and taking time of for reflection in between. Friends with benefits. F
[---] buddies. How can you have sex with no feelings or emotions? Being verbally abused. A beautiful but tragically violent woman who smashed the front window to my house, screaming, sending me to jail and breaking my heart in the process. The neighbors called 911 for her protection, but I was the one who was truly scared. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, and I hadn’t even scorned her!

After all that, the idea of open relationships wasn’t so scary. If I hadn’t found what I was looking for in conventional ones, what was the risk in looking outside the box? After 7 years, this is what I’ve learned:

1. Open relationships have been the best way for me to give and receive unconditional love.
2. Open relationships have been the single most effective instrument in helping me release my issues surrounding jealousy and insecurity.
3. Being in more than one relationship usually improves all the relationships.
4. Open relationships have taught me greater sensitivity and communication with my partners – in other words, they make me a better man.

Your mileage may vary. I’ll again point out that polyarorous is not synonymous with open. There are polyamorous relationships that are closed, or practicing polyfidelity. I wouldn’t call all open relationships polyamorous. But yes, there are polyamorous people who are in open relationships. In any case, adults should have the freedom to have the relationships they choose with each other, without the law or hateful discrimination.
— — —

Another Call For GSA Experienced

Alison Barnes, a researcher based in Sydney, Australia, is looking for people who have experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction. From the GSA forum

I'm doing research on GSA for a National Geographic documentary series. We present in-depth analysis into various human behaviors from around the world.

Our premise for this story: Genetic Sexual Attraction is considered taboo because it is not well understood, and our aim is to explore GSA in order to shed light on it. Personal stories will be presented alongside analysis from leading academics and experts in the relevant field.

I would love to talk to anyone that is open to sharing his or her story with me. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions or want more information.

I hope to hear from some of you soon.

Alison Barnes | Researcher

Beyond Productions
109 Reserve Road, Artarmon NSW 2064
Phone: +61 421 954 431

Hopefully, this production will increase understanding of GSA in the general public and aid the move towards full marriage equality.
— — —

Discuss Penny Lawrence and Garry Ryan

If you want to discuss the consanguinamorous relationship between Penny Lawrence and Garry Ryan (or your own) in an environment that isn’t antiequality, you can do so in this thread at the Incestuous Lovers forum. You have to register (no cost) with the forum to be able to read and respond.
— — —

A Longtime Love

In California, a long-term relationship has stirred controversy. Nancy Kotowski and Mike Manning are both mature adults. But Nancy is the Monterey County superintendent of schools, and Mike is a Catholic priest who has been prominent in religious media. Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate. But the relationship has also been criticized because Nancy and Mike are second cousins. I don’t think there’s a state in the US that bans “monogamous” marriage between (heterosexual) second cousins, yet some people are so prejudiced against consanguinamory that they attack the relationship on that basis.

Kotowski, 59, said she ended about three years ago the "physical aspect" of a 30-year relationship with the Rev. Mike Manning, a Catholic priest in San Bernardino who is also her second cousin.

Their relationship became publicly known Wednesday after The Sun and The Herald published excerpts of emails between the two.

I’m not sure why the emails were newsworthy in the first place. He is 70, by the way.

Kotowski said the emails correspond to a period when it was time to decide whether Manning would leave the priesthood so they could get married or go their separate ways.

"We're soul mates, and in any human relationship, especially one of over 30 years, you reach a decision-making point, and our relationship reached that point," Kotowski said.

Kotowski balks at media descriptions of her relationship with Manning as an "affair" as it was almost a life-long commitment.

"It's a 30-year-old relationship of love for one another. That's what it was," she said.

They should be applauded for their longevity.

Both families know of their relationship and have even welcomed them in family gatherings, she said.

"My family knows him and loves Father Mike. My family knows of our closeness and our relationship, and they're very happy we have each other on our life journey. They know we're kindred spirits and soul mates."

Manning’s issue with his church is between him and the church. It is a pain that many people know, trying to live by the requirements of a church but having a love that is not accepted. The finger-waggers looking on shouldn’t condemn what would have been a spousal relationship if it weren’t for the conflict with Manning’s employer.
— — —

Orientation, Preference, and Especially Swinging

Nancy Sutton Pierce, registered nurse and health educator, and the founding director of Nancy Sutton’s House of Yoga, provides information for those curious about swinging in “As You Desire: Swinging – It’s Not Child’s Play – Part 1” and Part 2.

I'd like to clarify something from my last column on sexual orientation. There IS a difference between sexual orientation and sexual preferences. Sexual orientation is defined by whom we are attracted to. There are four general categories: asexual (no sexual desire), homosexual (same sex attraction), heterosexual (attracted to the opposite sex) and bi-sexual (attracted to both sexes). I will be adding a fifth category to this concept, which is simply SEXUAL (attracted to one sex primarily but comfortable with and able to enjoy being in sexual situations with either sex, aka "try-sexual").

I think there should be subcategories to sexual orientation, if we are using the definition she provided. For example, there are people who are primarily or only attracted to a certain race or certain races. There are also consanguinamorous people who are attracted to close relatives on a stronger level than nonrelatives. So, for example, a woman is is attracted to her sisters more than anyone else would be a consanguinamorous lesbian.

Sexual preference is about how we choose to play sexually. I did blur these in the last column and want to be clear about these differences. That being said, what I will be talking about in this column is about blurring those lines between sexual orientation and sexual preference in the world of "the lifestyle," aka swinging.

She interviewed swingers, asking and answering these questions…
— — —

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Solidarity From New Zealand

Prompted by “Sister Wives,” Chaz Harris asked “Is polygamy such a bad thing?”

Sister Wives, an American reality show about a polygamous family, and a discussion a friend of mine in the US was having online got me thinking - why is it illegal to get married if you are in a polygamous relationship?

Good question. It shouldn’t be illegal.

I've always thought the concept of polygamy was somehow not right, but when I stopped to really think about why that was, I realised it was just society telling me it is wrong.

That’s what happens to most people who think it through.

Let's be serious for a moment here though: is there really anything wrong with being in a loving relationship with more than one person at the same time? As long as everyone is in agreement and happy to be in that kind of arrangement and nobody is being held against their will, then fair play to them. If they wish to make that legal so that their legal other-halves are entitled to equal spousal rights, then should they be denied the opportunity to do so?

Of course not.

There were many comments to the effect that the writer wouldn't want a polygamous marriage, but that is not a reason to deny anyone else their choices.

Mbossa commented…

I agree with you, Chaz, and I'd like to throw incest into the mix. Why is incest illegal? As long as all parties can and do give consent, it's hurting nobody. The only reason incest is illegal is the same "ick" factor that has proved a problem for gay couples and polygamous groups.

People frequently try to justify banning it because of the increased risk of genetic problems in offspring, but (a) this risk is greatly exaggerated and in reality only amounts to a few percent at most, (b) health risks in hypothetical future offspring is a pretty pathetic reason to ban a relationship won't necessarily even produce offspring, and (c) we don't ban people known to have inheritable genetic diseases from forming relationships or even having children, and their children are at a much greater risk of having problems.

I personally have no desire to enter an incestuous, polygamous, or homosexual relationship, but that's irrelevant.

Thanks for being an ally for full marriage equality.
— — —

Friday, April 8, 2011

Anaïs Nin's Sex With Father Gets Theatrical

Louis Andriessen's new theatrical production about Anaïs Nin gets a look by Marshall Marcus in the larger context of the erotic in music and theatre.

Wagner's Die Walküre goes still further. It opens with a violent storm in which siblings born of an adulterous relationship meet, fall in love, and eventually bear a child together. There is almost nothing normal about the implied sexual relationships of any of the characters within the opera.


Which brings us to Louis Andriessen's Anaïs Nin, which the London Sinfonietta perform at its UK premiere next week. Andriessen, the Netherlands' greatest living composer, has been an astute chronicler of society since he burst onto the scene in the 1970s with his spectacular tour de force about Plato's Republic, De Staat. In Anaïs Nin – a 30-minute monodrama for singer-actress, film and ensemble – he explores the writings of the famous diarist of sexual liaisons in 1930s Paris, focussing on her incestuous relationship with her composer father. The role of Anaïs Nin was written for Andriessen's muse, the Italian singer, dancer and actor, Christiana Zavalloni. So does Andriessen feel himself to be part of a tradition of erotic writing?


And how did he feel about working with a taboo subject such as incest? "Well, I don't call it a taboo subject. Like other subjects of sexual morality, I don't have much of a moral standpoint about it, but it's a controversial subject certainly."

It sounds like it could be quite the show. If you go, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

UPDATE: Here's a review.
— — —

Defending Consensual Incest

This blogger gave a speech in class about consanguineous sex, countering the idea that it should be illegal.

In the twenty first century family, we have made progress in leaps and bounds. Interracial couples are accepted, gay rights are improving and “acceptance” is the catch-cry of our generation. But it seems strange that while we have come so far in breaking down these social barriers, we have built other walls. Incest, which was common amongst Ancient Egyptians and monarchs up until a few hundred years ago, is now a social taboo—I doubt a single person in this room is comfortable with the concept.

Actually, there was probably someone in the room with positive personal experiences. What they might not be comfortable doing, is speaking up and saying so.

This is a topic that upsets a lot of people. I want to outline before I begin that incest is a separate situation from abuse, paedophilia, or rape. In no situation would I condone a child being raised in a household where they feel pressured to enter into a sexual relationship with their family members. That has obvious detrimental psychological effects, and can damage a person in later life. What I am going to refer to today is informed, consensual relationships between two adults.

I generally wouldn’t limit it to two, but that can be handy for the sake of an argument. The blogger then goes on to address “scientific, legal and religious” arguments against consanguineous sex.

The main argument presented to condemn incest is that children borne of incestuous couples have a higher risk of genetic defects.

That's Discredited Argument #18.

When a middle aged woman falls pregnant, it’s considered a miracle. When two cousins have children, a social crime.

In some places, it is a legal crime, too. It shouldn’t be.

In Australia, it is legal for cousins to marry, and to have children. In no state is it legal to marry or have sexual relations with a first-degree relation: that is, a sibling or a parent. In some states relationships with nieces, nephews, uncles or aunts is also illegal. The thing that really stands out though is that no matter the situation, two or more convictions for incest puts you on the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of your life. “Consent” is not a valid defence. The love of your life can be standing in a witness box, telling the court he loves you, and that it was consensual, but it doesn’t matter.

It is outrageous. And sometimes someone puts themselves at risk for being imprisoned and branded if they tell the truth of being in love with their close family member, attempting to defend them in court. This adds pressure to keep quiet or agree to lie about the relationship.

It’s a great speech. This blogger adds

Incest is mainly illegal because there’s a law saying it is. It’s not exactly harmful to participants or their children. You just have to remember that incest and abuse are not synonyms.

Thank you! It is good to see people defending the rights of consenting adults to love, sex, and marriage.
— — —

Thursday, April 7, 2011

They Have Kids, But Others Shouldn't Be Allowed?

Katherine Wise Collins at referenced the love of Penny Lawrence and Garry Ryan to start a discussion.

It would have been a beautiful reunion story.

It IS a beautiful reunion story.

It is beyond disturbing and completely and utterly unfathomable to me that something like this could happen, but they act as if it's the most natural, beautiful thing in the world.

For them, it is. You’re free not to do the same thing.

This attraction may or may not be a real thing, I don't care. Even if you're attracted to someone, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SLEEP WITH THEM. Keep your feelings repressed and move on.

Adults have the right to love, sex, and marriage. You don’t get to tell someone they can’t be with someone of a different generation, or different race, or same sex, or close relation.

Only it's illegal ... and disgusting.

It’s illegal in many places, yes. But laws have been wrong before, haven’t they? It is disgusting to you. Some people are disgusted by heterosexual sex between people who aren’t closely related.

I'm sure it's tough to grow up without a father, but it still doesn't excuse or explain such a relationship.

No excuse is necessary. Do you offer and excuse for your relationship?

Do you think this father and daughter should be allowed to raise their child, who is a result of incest?

Of course they should. Why should a child be denied his or her parents, as long as those parents are taking care of the child’s needs?

There was a lot of ignorance and hafetul prejudice in the responses. Some are quite hypocritical, not wanting other people to be able to have and raise children as they themselves are doing.

That is so sick. It's bad enough when it happens because they don't know, but when they do??? Makes you wonder if he'd have molested her if he had been allowed to raise her?

There’s no indication he’s a pedophile or rapist. He’s attracted to another adult.

Or if he'll have this "GSA" when the baby is born, and as it's growing up?

GSA is real. There is overwhelming evidence of this. One of the aspects of GSA is separation and reunion. That doesn't happen when one person is helping to raise another or people are being raised together. And again, there is no indication this man is a pedophile.

An ally, Rebecca, wrote…

Two consenting adults...they can do what they want. I think it's yucky and I'd worry about the baby having genetic problems. However, I don't think the very odd and yucky circumstances that brought the child into the world mean they will in any way abuse or neglect it.

Thank you, but be assured the risk of genetic problems is low.

Later, she wrote…

Um, people who have a history of birth defects or genetic problems in their families have babies all the time. Not that I'm saying that's a good thing but really, I don't hear people saying their kids should be taken away because of it. Are they not fit either?

Thanks again!

She wrote again…

If this was two unrelated people who both carried the genetic markers for a disease that was not fatal but might cause birth defects, they were aware of this and they still had a child - would people still be saying they need that child taken away or that they will abuse the child?

Some might. People like to tell others how to parent.

As someone who has always defending the concept of two consenting adults can do what they want, marry who they like and have children in the home regardless of how disgusting some might find who they have sex with....I gotta say, or I'm a hypocrite, that (as much as it make me wanna barf) they (even if it is now illegal) have the right to do so.

That’s solidarity. Thanks for that.
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The Pursuit of Happiness

Gretch asked at, “Is it fair/right for the Law to interfere with peoples happiness?”

The law should protect rights. The law should let someone pursue happiness in so far as they don’t force themselves on someone else or steal from/cheat someone else. In the context of GSA, the law should only interfere when rape, sexual assault, statutory rape, or child molestation/abuse is involved. It shouldn’t be a matter for the law to get involved in if adults reuinite and have passionate lovemaking sessions, or if a 16-year-old male meets his 17-year-old half-sister and they make love.

Now, as I understand it, the primary concern is of that of offspring. We have been told that medical research has stated that offspring created by inter-family relationships have a higher chance of genetic abnormalities.

Higher than the average young couple, but still minimal. This shouldn’t be used as an argument to deny the right for cosanguineous people to enjoy love, sex, and marriage. See Discredited Argument #18.)
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Blogger's Personal Account of Genetic (Sexual) Attraction

From weaving love untangling confusion...

This blog is a story of an adopted female finding her birth farther after 33 years and the honest feelings, emotions, attractions that evolved. This is for others who want to learn more about genetic attraction, GA or genetic sexual attraction, GSA from an individual who is navigating and stumbling through in hopes to weave more deeply the love and untangle the confusion.

Whether someone experiencing GSA is seeking to restrain their feelings or is acting on them with gusto, what they do not need is "incest" laws that prevent consenting adults from sharing themselves with each other and being open with each other.
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More Honesty and More Love

In “Polyamour: A Soulful Slant on Multiple Sexual Lovestyles,” the writer says she has “practiced serial monogamy my whole adult life.” But she was given something to think about whiled reading Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners by Deborah Anapol, PhD.

“The original meaning of monogamy was to mate and be sexually exclusive for life. Divorcing and remarrying was originally called serial polygamy, not serial monogamy,” explains Dr. Anapol. Thanks to her clarification, I may not become polyamorous. I already am. There, I’ve said it.

What I’ve now really learned from my experience and Deborah’s book is that love—indefinable, sacrosanct and eternal—is hardly synonymous with monogamy or commitment. “To me, faithfulness has more to do with honesty, respect, and loyalty,” she writes. “And commitment is about keeping agreements. Somehow we’ve really gotten confused when relations that include secret extramarital affairs are considered monogamous and those that end in divorce are considered committed monogamous marriages.”

As my readers know, I support the freedom to divorce as part of the freedom to marry, but I do find it strange when someone claims to be monogamous, says everyone should be monogamous, criticizes polyamorous people (and same-sex relationships, to boot), and yet has cheated on at least one spouse and gone through multiple marriages and divorces. There are prominent public figures in the US like this.

Who amongst us, those reading within and in protest to the poly lifestyle, because it’s a lovestyle that still rankles the establishment, can honestly say that they’ve only ever loved one person—in their whole entire lives? I can’t.

Put aside an American propensity and fascination with extra-marital affairs, and consider just what’s going on in our hearts. If you add up all the times you’ve fallen in love, whether or not simultaneously, and include deep affection beyond sexual partners, it’s easier to incorporate a broader definition of multiple loves. Platonic love, all the tenderness you have for friends, family, current and past lovers, children and charges in your care, amounts to a whole lotta devotion, which makes you one polyamorous posse of hearts, minds and bodies, intertwined by a common humanity and need for connection.

Polyamorous people, who acually discuss with each other and give each other what they need and want rather than cheating or abandoning or being miserable and making everyone else miserable, are handling things in a better way than the person who will not be monogamous, yet pledges to be anyway.
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Polygamous Freedom to Marry is Feminist

I found this blog entry at a blog related to LSU law classes. The writer heard the creators of HBO’s “Big Love” interviewed on NPR. It resonated with the writer when the show’s creators said it was a feminist show.

Rather than focusing on Bill as the patriarchal figurehead, this show has centered on the lives and bonds of the sister wives. During the NPR interview, the creators stated, “But it’s always been a show about the bonds between women, about the way that women subvert power when they’re in [oppressive] situations.” If the intention all along was to create a show about women rather than polygamy, my question then is can polygamy, outside of the context of a fictional television series, be feminist?

Of course it can. Feminism is about empowering women and giving them choices. Full marriage equality, including the polygamous freedom to marry, gives a woman the power to choose her marital partner(s) and what kind of marriage she wants.
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Anti-Polygamy Law in America

Daniel Dubose Ray wrote “Questioning the Reynolds Decision: A Modern Examination of the Constitutionality of Polygamy.” Follow the link to read it or download it. Ray argues that Americans having the polygamous freedom to marry would be an improvement.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Personal Affirmation of Polyamory

Daniel explains what polyamory means to him, and the benefits of polyamory.

Polyamorous means to love many people at once, and is different from swinging (but may involve swinging, which is having non-committed sex outside of a committed relationship with consent of those involved). Just a note: consent is sexy. Everyone with me is consensual.

Polyamory has, for me, a lot of political, financial, cultural (bear with me, I'll get that in a minute), and practical merit and gains to me. For one, I do feel it is genuinely possible to love someone or something while equally loving another someone or something.

Polyamory isn't for everyone. But it is for some.
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Macintosh Demolishes Antiequality Arguments

It is nice that the coverage of the Canadian poly trial is now reporting on the closing arguments from the freedom to marry side. George Macintosh, arguing for the freedom to marry, is demolishing the antiequality law and the tactic of guilt by association.

See this article

Much of the evidence in the case has focused on the small, religious sect living in southeastern B.C., but Macintosh says the question before the court isn’t whether bad things are happening in a single community.

Instead, Macintosh says the judge must decide whether it’s constitutional to ban any relationship involving three or more people, regardless of who they are.

Macintosh says the law violates religious freedom, and he says it’s too broad, covering a wide variety of relationships that don’t hurt anybody.

It violates not only religious freedoms but the basic human right to freedom of association.

From The Province

Canada’s polygamy law causes harms against women and children, rather than protects them, a court-appointed lawyer argued Monday.

Proponents of the law have submitted that the legislation should be interpreted to exclude women and young girls who might be exploited by the practise of polygamy.

But George Macintosh, a lawyer who is representing parties that oppose the polygamy law, said the legislation does not “carve out” exemptions on who it applies to.

The law makes criminals out of the people backers claim to want to help.

Finally, from Daphne Bramham

Macintosh, who was appointed by the court to argue that the law is not constitutionally valid, said that the law must fail. The reason, he said, is that Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows only for “minimal impairment” of guaranteed rights and freedoms.

Certainly, telling someone which adults they can and can’t marry is a maximum impairment.

But Macintosh said the polygamy law is so broad that last week the five defenders of the law argued for five different interpretations of it.

The attorney general of B.C.'s lawyer argued that it should only apply to men with more than one spouse, not women.

The attorney general of Canada's lawyer argued that it applies only to people who have some sort of ceremony to formalize their plural relationships.

WestCoast LEAF wants it interpreted to mean only multi-party, conjugal relationships that are exploitive.

The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Child said it shouldn't criminalize children, while the B.C. Teacher's Federation argued that it shouldn't criminalize women.

Get rid of the problematic law. Legalize full marriage equality so that consenting adults can marry. Prosecute abusers for abuse.

Thank you, George Macintosh. Canada should keep moving forward in the fight for marriage equality.
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South Dakota Prosecuting Consenting Adults For Sex

Perhaps this news report out of South Dakota that lacks sufficient information is about the same case cited earlier in another report that lacked sufficient information.

The headline reports that a woman was arraigned on incest charges.

A 31-year-old Rapid City woman accused of having consensual sex with someone closely enough related to make their marriage illegal in South Dakota pleaded not guilty to incest Monday.
In South Dakota, that could mean that the other person was her first cousin. She could go to prison for having consensual sex with her first cousin. Yet in many states, they have the freedom to marry.

The woman's co-defendant, a 34-year-old man, remains in the Pennington County Jail.

Since nobody else is mentioned, we’re to assume a 31-year-old woman had consensual sex with a 34-year-old man. There’s no victim. Why is this a crime? There isn’t even a problem cited by anyone in the article. Why try to prosecute adults for having sex?

The police and the District Attorney should be ashamed of themselves for pursuing this. The judge should throw this out of court.
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Gay Polyfidelity and Polyamory

Here’s a site of interest. At the URL are people calling themselves the Gay Polyamorists. Under “A Journey Into Closed Polyamory,” they write…

This blog is about closed Polyamory, triad and quad relationships pertaining to the gay community (GLBTQ Community)…This blog is going to concentrate more on the closed form of polyamourous relationships. In a closed poly relationship all participants are committing to the relationship of their own free will. These groups can be of any number ranging from three (triad), four (quad) or more.

Under “About the authors”

We are two gay guys in our thirties that have been together for ten plus years and have had a couple of polyamourous relationships and have dated several guys. We are currently in the market for a third.

They provide an e-mail address and are interested in adding contributors.
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Wonder Woman’s Creator

File this under “Did you know…?” Wonder Woman is undergoing a revival. I don’t know all that much about the people who have brought us our popular superheroes, but I came across this, and found it interesting…

The elements for discomfort are obvious, the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and inventor of the polygraph believed in the educational potential of the comic medium. The ideas he wanted to impart to young impressionable minds however, was far from standard. Marston had an unconventional home life, living in a polygamy/Polyamory relationship with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne. Marston intended Wonder Woman to represent the kind of liberate woman, that would guide society in part, by controlling destructive masculine tendency.

Poly people are everywhere. We are your entertainers, your neighbors, your family, your public servants.
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