Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Dynamics of Cousin Relationships

Cousin relationships are on the edge of the issues addressed by this blog, facing somewhat less prejudice than relationships of closer relatives. Widely different laws from place to place and much ignorance and prejudice linger even as many places accept these relationships. In about half of US states, genetic first cousins (your parent's sibling's child is your first cousin) can legally marry. There are a few states with laws against consensual sex between first cousins, including North and South Dakota, Utah, Texas, Nevada, Kentucky, and Mississippi. The states that neither marry nor criminalize will generally allow first cousins to be together without marriage, as second-class citizens. There is much confusion and ignorance about these matters, so even people who are generally educated might not be aware that first cousins can legally marry, or might be unaware that people are actually thrown into prison for loving each other.

In the US, there is a false notion that marriages between first cousins in a Southern thing, but the varying state laws do not support that idea. Rather, these relationships exist in every region and in every class.
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Monday, March 27, 2017

There Is No Good Reason to Deny the Consanguineous Freedom to Marry

Over and over again, we see there is no good reason to deny people in consanguinamorous relationships their right to be together, including their freedom to marry. There is no good reason to deny full marriage equality for all adults.

Anti-equality bigots don't have good arguments, so instead of arguing they'll usually say, after making their ignorant assertion, something like "I'm not going to discuss this any further!" or they'll try to insult the person who disagrees with their hateful, prejudiced statements.

Repeating the same prejudiced assertion over and over again isn't an argument.

The rhetorical equivalents of jumping up and down, rolling eyes, pointing, and saying "See! We said this would happen!" is not an argument.

Recently [a while ago now], a bunch of sister publications profiled a couple who are Friends of FME and Friends of Lily and even more recently, professional anti-equality websites printed reactions because they knew it would get them a lot of hits. Their readers actually like to read about these relationships, as is obvious from their reactions and comments. Of course they claim to protest, but their actions betray them. They read, and then shriek into the echo chamber a few of the usual Discredited Arguments, often #1, 4, 18, and 22.

They don't bother to consider that the couple in the article not only were not raised together, but didn't even know of each others' existence until they were heading for middle age. The haters don't bother to take into account this couple will not be having children. They do not grasp that saying "they'll have mutant babies!" doesn't apply because they're not going to be having babies together. (These people often have much ignorance about human sexuality and reproduction.)

I replied to the tweets from the official accounts, and that prompted some rabid haters to attack me. They kept repeating Discredited Arguments 1, 18, and 22 and restating what they thought was going on, as if these were reasons the lovers shouldn't be together. They kept addressing me as though I was someone in the article, demonstrating a lack of a grasp on basic reality.

I detail the Twitter exchanges below, but I offer a TRIGGER WARNING because of their bigotry, which includes transphobia, homophobia, ableism, anti-equality, anti-consanguinity, and sexual assault.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Raise Awareness By Signing These Petitions

If you believe all consenting adults should have their rights, there are some petitions you can sign to help raise awareness, especially with the people in power.

In New Mexico, it's illegal for certain adults to simply be affectionate with each other, so please sign this petition now!

France doesn't criminalize consanguineous relationships, but it still needs to be more egalitarian in marriage laws. As Jane has noted on her blog, there is a petition we urge you to sign that calls for this.

Now there's also a similar petition for The Netherlands.

The same situation exists in New Jersey. Please go sign this one for New Jersey.

The same situation as France, The Netherlands, and New Jersey exists in Rhode Island. Please go sign this petition for Rhode Island.

Share the links with other people who want to support civil rights and human rights in general, who think it is outrageous or just plain wasteful to prosecute and imprison adults for loving each other or to deny them the right to marry.
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Aunts and Nephews

More days than not, someone finds this blog by doing a search on something like...

incest, aunt nephew, how common
Is it incest to have sex with your aunt
Do aunts and nephews have sex
I’m in love with my aunt
Can an aunt marry her nephew

You get the idea. People are searching for information on aunts and nephews having a romantic or erotic connection or marrying. At least some of them are very likely to be aunts who are having sex or want to have sex with a nephew and vice-versa. It is a not-so-distant runner-up to searches about siblings having sex or marrying. Keep in mind that much of this entry also applies to aunts and nieces, and to uncles and nieces and uncles and nephews.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #19

“There are so many people outside of your family. Go marry/have sex with one of them, instead. It creates friendships between families.” There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. I have many friends outside of my family to whom I’m neither married nor married to a relative of theirs. On the other hand, don't we all know unrelated married couples who actually drive their relatives apart from each other? Let adults marry the consenting adult(s) of her or his choice.

Telling someone who is happy with their lover that they should dump that person (or even be prosecuted for being with that person) and should be denied their right to marry because there is someone else they can be with instead is an arrogant and usually, very much a cruel intrusion into someone else's life. How would the person who says this like it if someone told them they had to drop their lover (if they have one) and go find someone else, even though they are consenting adults who want to be together and are happy together?

There are people in consanguinamorous relationships who could never find as much love and happiness with someone else, and trying to force them to do so isn't fair to anyone, including the person for whom they "settle."

There is no good reason to deny an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (and any of those without the others) with any and all consenting adults without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

Feel free to share, copy and paste, and otherwise distribute. This has been adapted from this page at Full Marriage Equality:

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #18

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #20
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Casting Call For Cousins

Cheryl Hockey, Assistant Producer, Sugar Films is looking for cousins in relationships with each other.

I'm working on a documentary about cousin marriage for a British broadcaster.  As I'm sure you know, marrying your cousin is legal in Britain.  It is still fairly popular among the British Pakistani community here and the documentary will follow a young woman, from this community, who's considering the possibility of marrying one of her cousins.

On her journey she is keen to meet cousin couples from all different communities, and possibly countries.  She understands there is often a taboo around this topic, especially in other communities, so hopes it will raise awareness and also help to reduce prejudice around cousin relationships/marriage.
All initial conversations would be confidential and by people getting in touch with us it wouldn't commit them to taking part in any filming.
She says the best way to contact her is via her email or her office number: /
00 44 2031464533

As always, we advise careful consideration as it would be great to have increased visibility and media representation, but if you've been closeted there may be some risks, and of course you don't have control over how consanguineous relationships will be portrayed in the finished production.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Answering Arguments Against Polyamory

People who insist monogamy is the only acceptable relationship model, or that polyamorists should not have the same rights for their relationships as monogamists, almost always cite a few often-repeated reasons as to why. If you're polyamorous, you’ve probably heard most of these reasons, whether from coworkers, family, or complete strangers. Although I’m going to focus on polyamorous relationships, most of these are also applicable to open relationships, swinging, swapping, nonmonogamous sex, and ethical nonmonogamy in general whether the people involved identify as polyamorous or not.

Just about any objection people have to polyamory or other forms of ethical nonmonogamy fit into these common arguments, perhaps with different wording. Just so that you know, when I use the term “polygamy” I am referring to a subset of polyamory that involves marriage (whether by law, ceremony, or declaration of those involved), involving three or more spouses, whatever the structure of the relationship or the genders involved, as long as all involved are consenting adults.

1. “It is disgusting.” Also known as the “ick” or “eww” factor, this explains why the person using the argument would not want to have a polyamorous relationship, but their own personal disgust is not a justification for preventing other people from having a polyamorous relationship. Some people are disgusted by the idea of heterosexual sex, or their own parents having sex, but obviously this is not a justification to ban those things. Obviously, the consenting adults who want a polyamorous relationship aren’t disgusted by it. An effective response to this is “Don’t want a polyamorous relationship? Don’t have one.”

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Monday, March 20, 2017

NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #18

“There is a power differential.” Power differentials in consanguineous sexual relationships do not provide a good reason to deny the rights of lovers to be in these relationships and to marry, if that is what they want. The power differential allegation applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to marry.

There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. One person is more emotionally needy than another. One earns more than the other. One is more educated than another. One has more friends and family than another. One has more life experience than another. On and on it goes. A 21-year-old woman can consent to group sex with three 40-year-old cage fighters she just met, or sex with an older man who boarded in her family home for most of her life, or the President, or a married billionaire sultan, but not her half-brother or her genetic father who she first met a year ago and has been falling in love with? To question if consent is truly possible in consanguineous relationships is insulting and demeaning. If someone her age can consent to join the military, operate heavy machinery, or be sentenced to life in prison or even to death for their actions, how can we say she can't consent to love another adult the way she wants?

There are sober, functional, healthy adults who consent to consanguineous sex with an older relative, and many of them want to marry. It shouldn’t be illegal or questioned, unless you would do the same to any intergenerational relationship between adults.

There is no good reason to deny an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

Feel free to share, copy and paste, and otherwise distribute. This has been adapted from this page at Full Marriage Equality:

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #17

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Consanguineous) Love #19
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How Marriage Equality Supports Family Values and Morality

There are people who constantly make a point of telling us their beliefs that marriage is important for our countries, that being married is good for adults and for children, that commitment is good, that unmarried sex is bad, unmarried cohabitation is bad, that being a single mother is bad, and that marriage is needed to “channel male sexuality.” They cite with worry the fact that there are fewer married households now and more children being raised outside of a home headed by married parents. These are what they say “family values” and “morality” are about. Everyone should get married and only have sex and raise children in marriage and should go to church every week and enjoy “freedom of religion.”

Let’s consider some facts, at least how the stand in the US (your country may vary.)…
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Polahi Tribe Enjoys Consanguinamory

At, this report about a tribe in the Gorontalo Forest was filed under "Odd News." Not that some people insult the customs of others, or anything.
The Polahi nomadic tribe living in isolation in the forest of Indonesia’s Gorontalo province practices incest, permitting relationships between father and daughter or mother and son, a report said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

There's not a people group on the planet in which consensual incest doesn't take place. The difference is, it is usually kept in the closet these days. With this tribe, the relationships are official.
The tribe roams the thick forest of Humohulo in the Boliyohuto mountain range of Boalemo district in Gorontalo on Sulawesi island.

It is considered normal if a father marries his daughter or a son marries his mother.

The former head of the tribe, Baba Manio, who died in April, had two wives, Mama Tanio and Hasimah.
So in addition to consanguinamory, they also have polyamory, even if only a polygynous form. I'm curious to know if any of them practice polyandry and how they treat LGBT members of the tribe.
Babuta, the son of Mama Tanio and Baba Manio, replaced his father. Babuta is married to his sister Lailya, who is the daughter of Baba Manio and Hasimah.

So he's married to his half-sister. This is very much like the leaders of ancient Egypt and much more recently, Hawaii, as well as many nations and people groups.
Marriage rites are also simple, with the couple taken to a river and water thrown on both of them while mantras are read out.

Kompas online quoted photographer Ebbi Vebri Adrian, who often has contact with the tribe, as saying that despite their intermarriage, the tribe did not appear to suffer from the genetic deterioration usually associated with the practice.

“What is strange is that none of their descendents appeared handicapped, as is usual with intermarriages,” he said.

It's a matter of genes, diet, and environment. If those things are all good, the children from these relationships are likely to be healthy. The communal and familial bonds are no doubt quite strong as well. I'd be interested if they know how many generations back they have been doing this, and other sociological results of their relationships. Maybe we can learn something from them, whether from a biological perspective or sociological.

In many US states and some other countries, it would be illegal for the leader of this tribe, if visiting, to have sex with his wife. If his father had visited, one, if not both of his wives would be insulted by a denial of the recognition of their marital status. That's just one of many reasons we need to adopt full marriage equality sooner rather than later.
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Friday, March 17, 2017

New Mexico Needs New Laws

We've already linked to Jane's coverage of the latest news about Monica and Caleb. Below, we take a look at some of the coverage of news outlets.

Joy Johnston of Cox Media Group had this at
A mother and son in New Mexico who publicly admitted to being involved in an incestuous relationship have agreed to a plea deal, just before their trial was to begin.
Unfortunately, plea deals are often the way to go in cases like this, even when you're not actually in a consanguinamorous relationship, because the outrageous laws against consensual sex often include prison sentences for decades or even lifetime. You can't always trust that a jury won't be prejudiced to such an extent that they will convict you.
Monica Mares, 37, and Caleb Peterson, 20, accepted the plea deal Wednesday morning, just before jury selection was to begin in their case, KOAT reported.
Having a criminal case at all is a waste of resources.
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