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THE KINDRED SPIRITS FAQ

on Thu 28 Jul - 0:56
This FAQ is for the benefit of any visitors to our forum. Keith will be adding to this thread too, and possibly some of the other admins. If non-admin members feel that we have missed anything important, don't post the question in this thread, PM myself or Keith. This is so that the thread does not become cluttered, as it will likely be linked to on other websites.

Thanks,
Jane

What is the purpose of this forum?

This forum is for people who are, or who were involved in consensual incestuous or GSA relationships. It's a support forum where members can discuss the issues we face in our lives honestly and openly in a safe, secure and non-judgemental environment.

I cannot see any forums with discussions about incest, where are they?

The main forums have been hidden from the public, new members are required to post an introduction before we upgrade their account to make all the forums visible to them. This helps our members feel safe and secure, in addition to keeping out underage persons or unsavory characters.

Why would anyone want to have an incestuous relationship?

Well, for much the same reasons that anyone wants to have any kind of relationship. People fall in love and they want to be together, and sometimes it happens between people who are closely related.

What's the difference between incest and GSA?

Genetic Sexual Attraction occurs when relatives were separated during childhood, usually through adoption, and then they fall in love after they are reunited. GSA feelings are incredibly common and normal, and they occur in around 50% of reunions.

Non-GSA incest occurs when two relatives that have never been separated fall in love with each other.

Both groups of people are welcome at these forums, as are allies and friends and family of those affected who would like to learn more.

Isn't incest illegal?

In many places it is, but did you know that around half of the worlds population live in places where it is not against the law? In truth it should not be a criminal offence anywhere when all both parties are consenting adults.

How common is incest?

There isn't any hard statistics on this because of it's taboo nature and the fact that it's illegal in half of the world. But if we look at the prevalence of OTHER non-standard sexual orientations/experiences then it stands to reason that incest would fall within the same range of 1-5% of the population. If this is the case, then everyone knows somebody who has been involved whether they realize it or not.

Would decriminalizing incest make it easier for perverts to abuse their children?

No. Laws already exist that make child sexual abuse illegal whether the perpetrator and victim or related or not, if anything the sentences given to such monsters need to be tougher than they already are. There is no reason to deny consenting adults their equal rights by turning lovers into criminals, it does nothing at all towards the protection of minors an causes catastrophic harm in peoples lives. We stand united and wholeheartedly condemn pedophilia.

I've seen the word 'consanguinamory' a lot, what does it mean?

It literally means 'romantic lovers of family', and it is used as an umbrella term for consensual incest and GSA couples. People use this word often instead of 'incest' because it cannot be confused with pedophilia or rape.

Why can't you people find somebody else who isn't related to you to have a relationship with?

For much the same reasons that a gay person can't find and be happy or fulfilled with an opposite sex partner, for some of us this is an orientation, we need the double-love dimension in a relationship for it to feel complete to us. Even for those for whom it is not an orientation, why should they be made to find somebody else if they are happy and in love with their family member? Why should anyone have to settle for somebody else? Also, how fair is it on the person being used as a cover without their knowledge? It makes more sense to let all consenting adults have the relationships that feel right and natural to them. Many of us have tried regular relationships and found that they feel incomplete to us.

How can anyone become attracted to a family member?

Usually this is down to lack of Westermarck effect. In GSA situations it didn't have chance to form because of the separation, GSA people are usually Westermarck effected for their adoptive family. With non-GSA, we have no idea why the Westermarck effect is sufficiently low as to make these relationships possible. It would be interesting to find out why, but no studies have been done in this area yet.

What's double-love?

It's the special kind of love that only exists in incestuous and GSA relationships. It's a bond consisting of the family love and the romantic love rolled into one. It is very powerful and all encompassing and surpasses either kind of love on it's own. Other types of relationships where double-love does not come into play feel incomplete to us, because when you're family AND lovers, you're literally EVERYTHING to each other.

Contrary to popular public belief, the family role and the lovers role are NOT in conflict, they go together very harmoniously in fact. Anyone who has experienced this knows what that's like.

How can somebody consent to sex with a family member?

The same way that they can consent with anyone else!

But what about parent/offspring couples, doesn't the power differential make real consent impossible?

No, it doesn't. Funny how this argument gets used when it comes to incest but the same lines of reasoning do not get applied to other relationships in which a power differential exists. People wouldn't say this about boss/employee relationships for example, even though the power differential in this example is vastly greater than it would be for parent/offspring. They also wouldn't say it about a rich/poor relationship, where one of the partners has a lot of money and power and the other does not. So if somebody can consent to sex with their boss, or sex with somebody much more wealthy, then surely they can consent to sex with a parent... it's just basic common sense.

Actually telling offspring that they can't consent is insulting and offensive.

Aren't incestuous people mentally ill? I mean, nobody sane would want to do that.

Wrong again, I've spoken to lots of people over these many years and they have been as sane and mentally well balanced as any other group of people. Incest is not the result of mental illness, it is the result of people falling in love. The only mental illness we're likely to suffer from is anxiety and depression due to having to hide all the time and the fear of discrimination. It's worth noting that the same rubbish was also said of gay people half a century ago.

Won't kids growing up around incestuous parents cause them to become incestuous themselves?

Not at all, for the same reason that being raised by a same-sex couple will not make you gay. The overwhelming majority of these children will develop the Westermarck effect and thus will not be attracted to anyone in their family.

But shouldn't it be banned because of possible birth defects if they have kids?

This is another line of reasoning that is applied exclusively to incest couples. We do not ban any other high risk groups from procreation or sexual relationships, and many of those groups have a higher chance of birth defects than incest couples. For instance, it's a known fact that women over 40 years of age run an increased risk of having a child with downs syndrome, but we do not ban sex or procreation for pre-menopausal over 40s, in fact we help these women to have children using IVF if they choose to start a family later in life and don't fall pregnant naturally. There are also people who have a genetic defect themselves who have a high chance of passing it along to the next generation, but we do not stop people with Huntingtons Disease or Tay-Sachs from procreating or having sex.

The risks for double first-cousins, which are as genetically similar as siblings, run at 9%. It's worth noting that the risks for Tay-Sachs being passed on is 25%.

I would argue most strongly that people should stop being armchair Eugenicists and apply the same lines or reasoning to everyone in a fair and balanced way. If other high-risk groups are allowed to have children, then the same should go for incest couples.

What about when incest couples break up, doesn't that cause huge family problems?

Not necessarily. It all depends on the reasons for the break-up. The NUMBER ONE CAUSE of incestuous couples breaking up is persecution and fear of persecution. Some are forced apart by other relatives or friends who threaten to call the police. Most of the time these ex-lover family members remain close friends and function as normal in the family role. Breaking up does not have to be a catastrophe each and every time, just as it doesn't for regular couples who have an amicable split or divorce.

Of course if the break up was due to infidelity or abusive behavior then that's a different story, but that can cause huge problems for a family whether the partners are related or not.

Where can I find more information about consensual incest and GSA?

https://consanguinamory.wordpress.com
http://marriage-equality.blogspot.co.uk
http://thefinalmanifesto.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.lilysgardener.com/index.html

These are the main ones at the present time, if more people set up such sites I will add those to this list Smile
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What Is Incest?

on Thu 28 Jul - 3:56
"Is This Incest?"

The subtext to this FAQ is usually, “Is it wrong?”

First of all, regardless of laws, nothing wrong with any kind of physical affection, contact, or companionship between any consenting adults or minors who are close in age, as long as existing vows to others are not being violated. This includes dating, literally sleeping together, seeing each other nude, hand-holding, hugging, kissing (of any sort,) contact with genitals, intercourse, living together, marrying, etc. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/discredited-invalid-arguments.html If these people are right for each other and want this with each other, then it shouldn’t be anyone else’s place to object: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/case-studies.html

This is about consensual experimentation, exploration, affection, making out, sex, love, dating, partnering, living together, and marriage. This is NOT talking about assault, molestation, abuse, or coercion. If someone forces themselves on you, that is wrong regardless of their relation to you. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/against-abuse.html

What is incest? That depends on who you ask. The definition once found at Wikipedia was…

   sexual activity between family members or close relatives. This typically includes sexual activity between people in a consanguineous relationship (blood relations), and sometimes those related by affinity, such as members of the same household, step relatives, those related by adoption or marriage, or members of the same clan or lineage

As the Wikipedia entry notes, some people or laws include sex between relatives by marriage, or related by affinity rather than blood (consanguinity,) as incest. Contrary to popular misconception, actual sexual contact between close genetic relatives is not a crime everywhere. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2011/11/frequently-asked-question-why-is-incest.html There are places where it is legal. http://thefinalmanifesto.tumblr.com/post/88910582694/i-decided-the-old-map-wasnt-good-enough-so-ive Not all places that do have laws against consensual incest define incest the same way. For example, some places have laws that criminalize consensual sex between step-relations, while others don’t.

There are three basic kinds of relations that are commonly called incestuous…

Genetic… if people who are genetically related because they share at least one genetic parent or grandparent, it can be labeled as incest in the literal sense. Someone who shares one genetic grandparent is a half-cousin. Someone who shares two genetic grandparents is a full first cousin.

Legal… if people are legally related through adoption or share an adoptive parent, or have parents who are married to each other (such as stepsiblings), or even if one person is or has been a stepparent to the other, it can be considered incest even though there is no genetic relation.

Social… even if there is no legal or genetic connection, some people might call it “incestuous” if the lovers spent a lot of time around each other, perhaps in the same home, while one or both was growing up. And example of this would be if a woman dated her aunt’s ex-husband, who had been her uncle through marriage for part of her childhood.

So, something can be considered "incestuous" from a genetic, legal, or sociological perspective.

Some places include relationships where there is no genetic connection in their anti-incest laws. Also, there are many places where marriage between first cousins is legal (including some US states) and even common, but other places where such marriages are still denied. There are some US states where consensual incest between full siblings is not illegal, but all states still deny this as a freedom to marry.

Some people think of it as incest if two siblings from one family partner with two siblings from another family, even if both relationships are monogamous and do not swap. Children from the two relationships are “double cousins.”

Genetic relatives brought together into a sexual relationship through Genetic Sexual Attraction or without having grown up with each other, or without one having raised the other, may not have the sociological foundation that would make their relationship socially incestuous, but it may still be considered incest in the legal and genetic sense. This is why many people brought together through GSA do not see their relationship as incestuous, but others, including law enforcement, might. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/genetic-sexual-attraction.html

Whether someone considers a relationship between stepsiblings incestuous might depend on what age they met or whether or not they lived together as children.

Rather than asking if their relationship is incestuous, there are two more relevant questions for someone to ask…

1. Is this illegal? Consensual relationships shouldn’t be illegal, but in some places, some are. This will usually have an impact on how the relationship is conducted and how the information about the relationship is shared. Lovers need to consider what precautions to take, and their family and friends also need to be savvy about the situation. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/family-and-friends.html

Which takes us to the second question…

2. Will you accept us or reject us? This is more personal. Will this relationship be respected by those around us, or do we need to surround ourselves with people who truly love and respect us?

Lovers should not have to be concerned with the prejudices of outsiders, whether those prejudices are enshrined in law or not. If people are happy together, that’s all that should matter. How do they treat each other? Proximity, bonding, trust, love, privacy, mutual attraction, common backgrounds, and shared interests and outlooks on life can form the basis for a strong, happy, lasting spousal relationship or a mutually satisfying fling, or something somewhere between. Whether lovers share a custodial guardian or genetic parent, met through someone else’s marriage or relationship, or simply met one day while on a nice walk, what matters is what works for them. Is it incest? It shouldn’t matter.

This has been adapted from http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2012/04/frequently-asked-question-is-this.html
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How Common is Incest?

on Thu 28 Jul - 4:09
How Common is Consanguinamory (Consensual Incest)?

The short answer: Nobody knows for sure, but it appears to be common enough that you know someone who has been involved, whether you know it or not. If you have been, are, or want to be involved, you are not alone and it doesn’t make you bad or sick. You’re in the company of royals and peasants, urban dwellers and rural folk, the wealthy and the poor throughout history. Regardless, rights are not reserved for the majority.

This answer, like Kindred Spirits in general, is addressing consanguinamory or consanguineous sex, NOT assault, molestation, or any form of abuse.

If we include first cousins, then incest is very common, and always has been. It some cultures, marriages between first cousins are still very common. About half of US states will marry first cousins.

Including step-relations (stepsiblings, for example) or adopted relations, as some anti-incest laws do, then again, incest is very common. http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2013/05/taking-steps.html

But even if we only include half or full-blooded siblings, parents and their adult children, grandparents and their adult grandchildren, and aunt/uncles and nieces/nephews, consanguinamory is common enough that everyone knows someone who has been involved, especially if we include people experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction (the meaning of which includes the fact that they were not raised with or by each other). http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/genetic-sexual-attraction.html

As said in the short answer, nobody knows for sure. Ridiculous laws against consensual incest along with other forms of discrimination, prejudice, ignorance, bullying, and ridicule don’t exactly foster an atmosphere of open and honest discussion or reliable research. If we rely on such things as…

...personal responses to surveys…which are likely to have underreporting even if anonymous

...DNA tests…which are not performed on everyone, nor always checked for indications of consanguinity (but sometimes are)

...criminal cases…which only involve a very small minority of relationships

...family records and oral history…which are likely to hide incestuous ancestry even if it was known, which it often wasn’t

…we’re still not going to know about everything. Still, what we have seen indicates that a sizable minority of the population has participated in consanguinamory, and many more have thought about or fantasized about it. About 10% of people in their early 20s will confide in surveys to already having had consensual sexual contact with a sibling. If you have entertained thoughts about having a threesome with twins or other siblings, or with a parent and their adult child, you have thought about incest. Internet searches and traffic, online discussion and chat areas, and erotica (see Literotica.com and the "Taboo" movie series) or adult media publication and usage indicate a high level of interest. Histories, biographies, mythologies, and fiction of all kinds, in movies and books and more, from years past through today also contain tales of consensual incest.

Youthful crushes, infatuations, fantasies, and exploration may just be a passing phase, or may develop into a lifelong spousal-style relationship, or fall anywhere between those two ends of the spectrum. While many children play doctor or games that lead to some experimentation, some people don’t have their first brush with consanguinamory until well into their adult years; even as elderly widows and widowers.

As far as incestuous dreams, it should be noted that sex or sexual attraction in dreams is sometimes representative of feeling close to someone or wanting to be closer or show love in some way. It isn’t always an indication of an actual sexual attraction, but sometimes it is.

Studies indicate that most people are attracted to people who look like themselves, which obviously includes close biological relatives more than anyone else. However, when any two people are raised together in the same family or group home, or one raises the other in such close quarters, related or not, something called the Westermarck Effect may suppress attraction to each other. This effect isn’t present in everyone, or isn’t present strongly enough to suppress attraction or curiosity in everyone. Also, close biological relatives who were not raised together (or one wasn’t raised by the other) wouldn’t experience this effect. On the contrary, the extremely powerful effect of Genetic Sexual Attraction is present in up to half of all reunions/introductions of post-pubescent close biological relatives (after adjusting for sexual orientation). With divorces, break-ups, one-night stands or other relationships in which parents their children or siblings may be separated, adoption, and egg, sperm, and embryo donations, this is becoming an increasing phenomenon in our highly mobile world.

Many people who have experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction, even those who are in lasting, happy consanguinamorous relationships together would have expressed disapproval or discomfort at the idea of consanguinamory before they experienced GSA. But just because one person is disgusted or insists they would never do such a thing doesn’t make it wrong for someone else, nor does it change the fact that does happen. As for consanguinamory between family members raised together or raised by each other, the convenience of proximity and privacy, and the existing foundations of trust and love may foster curious, fleeting exploration or deep and abiding passion.

None of this is to say that any one person should pursue a consanguinamorous relationship with another. Not everyone is right for everyone else at any given time in life. For help in figuring that out see here: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2011/08/genetic-sexual-attraction-incest-and.html

If someone in your family or one of your friends is in a consanguinamorous relationship and you are concerned, please read this: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/family-and-friends.html

This was adapted from here: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2011/12/frequently-asked-question-how-common-is.html
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Why Is Consanguinamory Illegal?

on Thu 28 Jul - 4:18
Why is Consensual Incest Illegal?

It shouldn’t be illegal anywhere: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/p/discredited-invalid-arguments.html

Short answer: It isn’t illegal everywhere, but where it is, it is the lingering result of sex-police holdovers, superstition, prejudice, and legislative inertia. http://thefinalmanifesto.blogspot.com/2015/01/global-map-of-incest-laws.html

Long answer:

A significant part of the reason is that some cultures have an ancient taboo against incest, which begs the question, “Why is consensual incest taboo?”

There seems to be more than one plausible reason why some cultures have had an incest taboo, in addition to protecting the power of the leaders.

1) The taboo appears to be an adoption as law or culture of the biological Westermarck effect, which is a common experience but not one experienced by everyone. Because of this effect, many people develop an avoidance of their close family members as sexual partners, and people have often expected that everyone feels the same way they do, and in many cases try to discourage people from acting differently than they do. But for those who, due to separation or some other reason, don’t experience the Westermarck effect, the bond becomes especially strong if it grows into a consanguinamorous one. It could be that if nobody had experienced the Westermarck effect, most people wouldn’t have ever “left the nest” (unless driven out by the dominant male) and the human race would have had a harder time developing genetic diversity, which was very important to survival when the human population was low. Without a growing and genetically diverse population, the entire population could have easily been wiped out by one disease. We hardly have that problem anymore. So in that respect, the Westermarck effect is vestigial and the taboo is no longer needed. (Note that the need for a growing population was also important when everything was accomplished through much physical labor, requiring many people. This was also one of the reasons why some cultures discouraged same-gender pairing that excluded males from bonding with females and making babies.)

2) Also, in patriarchal societies, it was common to trade daughters away in a business deal or to form alliances with other clans or nations. Especially if virginity was valued in new brides, it didn’t help matters if she was in love with, and making love with, her brother. But as with the previous reason, life has changed much and fewer segments of humanity are trading daughters like bargaining chips.

3) When the entire town or village was expected to attend the same church or temple, the taboo was reinforced if that religion had a prohibition against it. But in many places, this is no longer the case.

Incest was one of many things prohibited in the ancient nation of Israel, per the Torah. Church and political authorities have found incest prohibitions useful not only as part of overall control of sexuality, but for making accusations against opponents and the inconvenient (and how does one prove that they didn’t have sex with someone else?)… and to prevent any one other family from building up and retaining too much power. While royals in Egypt, Hawaii, Europe, and elsewhere married siblings, cousins, and other relatives to retain power, they often denied other people that right for the same reason.

The religion-imposed taboo should not be underestimated, and leads us into the...

Other Reasons Incest is Illegal in Some Places.

In many places, there has been an official national or state religion, perhaps with a religious organization having at least some direct influence on the laws. Even in the US, where the Constitution now guarantees freedom of religion and there has been a firmly established separation of church and state, some states were originally colonies established with their own official churches. New states often set up their laws by copying from existing states, and the US has had some Puritan origins, later Victorian influence, and so forth. Famously, alcohol was banned under Prohibition less than a hundred years ago. Before that, women couldn’t even vote and there were many restrictions placed on women that were not placed on men, and thus there was gender inequality under the law and a woman was more or less the property of her father or brother until or unless she married, at which time she became the property of her husband.

Female schoolteachers were expected to abstain from sex or resign if they married. Female pageant contestants had to swear that they were virgins. Until recently, it was common for college dormitory buildings (if not the college itself) to be segregated by gender, complete with curfews and supervisors to try to make sure that students, who were 18 years and older, were not having sex (heterosexual, anyway). Innkeepers, landlords, and property sellers would routinely (often by law) refuse to accommodate or do business with unmarried, mixed-gendered couples.

Boys and young men routinely faced criminal charges for consensual sex with females (or men of any age could be civilly charged with “breach of promise”.)

It was common to have laws against anything but heterosexual intercourse between a husband and a wife. That meant oral sex between a husband and wife was technically illegal, as was any gay or lesbian sex (gay bars were raided by police), unmarried sex or cohabitation; even sex toys and birth control have been illegal in some places. There are still places in the US where someone can be sued for “alienation of affection” for having sex with a married person. Never mind that, even where illegal, brothels have always existed, and fathers have taken their sons to them for their son to have pleasant sexual encounter with a professional, and have mingled with people in power as fellow customers. Never mind that quietly having lovers on the side has been something that has always taken place.

There have also been, and in many ways remain, laws against and restrictions on various forms of dancing, nudity, “crossdressing,” and erotica.

With this sex-negative attitude, it isn’t surprising that there have been laws against incest. What may be surprising is that such laws have remained on the books. There has been a progression of civil rights in places like the US that is moving towards an adult having the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults, but we’re still not there. Loving v. Virginia struck down bans on (heterosexual, monogamous) interracial marriages. The Lawrence v. Texas decision struck down laws against gay sex and in 2015 the limited monogamous same-sex freedom to marry became nationwide in the US. Cases regarding polyamory are currently winding their way through US courts.

In order for remaining laws against consensual incest to be removed, we'll likely need a good test case for the courts. What that would require is a respectable and otherwise law-abiding (and attractive wouldn’t hurt) long-term consanguinamorous couple to fight a state law against consensual incest. The catch-22 is that since people can be, and are, prosecuted for engaging in this consensual relationship, lovers have a strong motivation to hide these relationships, and that is a hindrance to getting the laws changed. It would help if a couple in a state, such as Rhode Island, with no law against consensual incest, applied for a marriage license and subsequently got the courts to overturn prohibitions on consanguineous marriages. However, in addition to fear of prosecution and other legal problems, some people who are, or have been, involved in consanguinamory would prefer the law and/or the taboo remain in place, either because they like being the rebel, they are self-loathing, or they can’t (anymore) have what they want and they don’t want anyone else to have it, either. But they are the minority; most people involved in these relationships very much want their rights.

Throughout all of history, around the world, royal or peasants, urban or royal, rich or poor, there have been close relatives engaging in experimentation or having lifelong spousal-type relationships, and everything in between. You know people who have been involved in consanguinamory whether you know it or not, and whether or not your genealogical charts reveal it, chances are that you don’t have to go too far back in your family tree to find an ancestor whose true biological parents were close relatives.

There are people in relationships right now who would benefit if they had their right to marry. There is now no good reason to keep these laws and the taboo that deny an adult the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. We’re not all going to want the same love lives as each other, but we should allow people to have the relationships of their mutual choosing, the ones in which they will function best.

An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults without being subjected to prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

This is adapted from this: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2011/11/frequently-asked-question-why-is-incest.html
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Consanguinamory and Reproduction or "What About the Babies?!?"

on Thu 28 Jul - 4:26
Consanguinamory and Reproduction

One of the most common reasons given to object to the right to consanguineous relationships is what can be called the "mutant baby" argument. Even some people who support the right to consanguinamory and have even engaged in consanguineous sex themselves join with bigots in being strongly against close relatives having children together because of prejudiced backlash or the increased risk of birth defects.

In regards to the prejudiced backlash, the answer is not to let bigots have their way. It is for bigots to lose their power to bully, prosecute, and break up homes. Don't want children of consanguineous parents to have a hard time? Do not give them a hard time.

In regards to the increased risk of birth defects, scientific understanding is often lacking.

Most sexual encounters do not result in a birth. Many people who have relationships or marry never have genetic children together; some people in consanguinamorous relationships choose not to. So, we must recognize the differences between sex, marriage, parenting, and reproduction, and not ban the first three because of concerns about the last one.

But let's deal with that last one.

Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. There are happy, healthy, bright, attractive people born to close relatives who are productive members of society. We all know some, whether we know it or not, and whether they know it or not. It is that common. (Sometimes, they were conceived by an abuser, but often, not by an abuser but by mutual lovers.) We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. For example, it is entirely legal in the US and most other places for someone with Huntington's Disease to date, have sex, marry, and have genetic children. How can such rights be denied to people who are genetically healthy, simply because they are close relatives?

It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of genetic problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. ( http://thefinalmanifesto.blogspot.com/2015/01/help-for-family-and-friends-of.html ) There are US states and there are countries where consanguinamory is not illegal or at least it isn't prosecuted. Sweden will legally marry half-siblings in some circumstances. A comparison of the rate of genetic problems in these places to places that criminalize and actively prosecute consanguinamory reveals no discernible increase in genetic problems in the places that embrace this relationship right.

If a natural talent or gift runs in the family, the children born to consanguineous parents will be more likely to inherit and manifest that beneficial result as well; a birth benefit. But there are increased odds of problem with births to older parents, too. There's no stigma assigned to that, and it isn't illegal for older people to date, have sex, marry, and have genetic children together.

Anyone concerned about these things should have genetic testing and counseling. People who are not close relatives can pass along health problems, too.

The "birth defects" argument also implies that people with disabilities or some other birth defect are living lives so terrible that they should never have been born at all. Yet, there are many such people who are leading happy, fulfilling, productive lives.

But a current problem, in some (not all) cases, is that in giving birth, consanguineous parents will be outing themselves to someone who is prejudiced, and there will now be evidence of their (in some places) illegal love that can be used against them.

There are consanguinamorous parents happily raising their healthy children together. But some consanguinamorous relationships face very real threats. Again, the answer is to stop the persecution and prosecution. There is no good reason to deny consenting adults their equal protection of having their relationship and reproductive rights.

Consanguinamorous or not, anyone engaging in heterosexual intercourse should be aware of the possibility of pregnancy, the various forms of birth control and other options available, and the realities if pregnancy, birth, and raising children.

This was adapted from this: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2011/06/consanguinamory-and-reproduction.html
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Can Siblings Marry?

on Thu 28 Jul - 4:30
Can Siblings Marry?

The following is NOT legal advice and not written by a lawyer or attorney.

We're not aware of any government that will currently marry full-blood siblings or recognize a marriage of full-blood siblings; rather, if it was discovered by the authorities after an official marriage was formed that the spouses were, in fact, siblings, the marriage would be dissolved and considered invalid. If the spouses knew they were siblings when they married, they would be subject to prosecution. If they discovered the genetic relationship after getting married, they would have to file for an annulment or dissolution or risk prosecution.

Where sibling consanguinamory isn’t still banned by law, siblings can have a wedding ceremony and live the married life, although under discrimination, as their government will not recognize their marriage and they will not get treated equally.

Sweden will legally marry half siblings under certain circumstances. We're not aware of any country that currently has more progressive laws or laws as progressive as Sweden.

Some siblings report that they have been able to get a marriage license in places like the US based on the ignorance of the authorities, such as the siblings being born in different states or countries and/or not having a shared parent listed on their birth certificates. However, if the laws of that location do not recognize sibling marriages as valid, or if consanguinamory is illegal in that jurisdiction, a marriage license is a potential piece of evidence that can be used in criminal prosecution, and that’s sad.

If siblings want to get married, they should be free to marry. Inequality, based on prejudice, is counterproductive. All over the world, there are siblings living as spouses; there always has been, some with the knowledge and support of friends and family, some hiding the full nature of their relationship. Sooner or later, full marriage equality will be in place in more progressive places, allowing siblings to marry without discrimination or fear of prosecution. Let’s make it happen sooner rather than later.

This was adapted from here: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2012/08/frequently-asked-question-can-siblings.html
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How Consanguineous Lovers Can Avoid Trouble

on Thu 28 Jul - 4:43
How to Stay Out of Trouble

Believe it or not, there are still criminal laws in many places criminalizing consensual sex between adults, and there are still police officers who will investigate people for this "crime," still prosecutors who will take the case before a court, and still judges and jurors who will convict people and sentence them to prison. There are still social workers who will take children away from good parents because those parents love other adults.

It doesn't matter to them how loving the relationships are. It doesn't matter if they love each other more than they could love others, it doesn't matter if the lovers didn't even meet each other until they were adults. It apparently doesn't matter to the people interfering that every dollar or minute they spend trying to stop consenting adults from loving each other is a dollar or minute that could instead go into protecting people, especially children, against predators.

In addition to this persecution of consanguinamorous people, there aren't any protections against other forms of discrimination against the consanguinamorous, such as employment discrimination.

THIS IS NOT WRITTEN BY AN ATTORNEY OR LAWYER AND IS NOT PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE.

The vast majority of people who have consensual sex with a close relative never get "caught." While most never get prosecuted, the threat is always there in so many places, and we regularly find news reports of such prosecutions. When people do get caught and publicly persecuted and, often, prosecuted, in almost every case, the lovers were outed and handed over to ax-grinding prosecutors due to one or more of a few factors (presented in no particular order):

1) Self-incrimination.
2) Being ratted out by a claimed witness.
3) Testing and reporting of a child's DNA.
4) Being caught in the act by law enforcement.

In other words, it isn’t like the police come door to door, scan crowds in public, or are doing stakeouts to catch consanguineous lovers breaking laws against consensual incest. That's the good news. But let's take a closer look at the bad news.

Self-incrimination. One of the problems is that people either "confess" or tell law enforcement way too much that they don't have to. One or more of them admit the relationship, often not aware it is (still, stupidly) illegal where they are, wrongly thinking if they explain it was consensual then of course the police will leave them alone. Law enforcement may also get a hold of some media (love letters, homemade videos) that documents the sexual aspect of the relationship. That's right... doing something so many other lovers do freely can be used against these consensual relationships.

Ratted out. Someone outside of the relationship, whether a nosy neighbor, a malicious ex, a jealous or envious family member, even a professional/academic/social rival sees something, hears something, or just gets a hunch based on how the lovers are smitten with each other and they contact the authorities.

Child. If someone dares to exercise their reproductive rights and have a child together, the DNA of that child is proof of parentage. Contrary to popular myths, most children born to close relatives are healthy and do not look any different than any other child. But, if the child's DNA is tested and the results showing the parents are consanguineous reported to the authorities, depending on the circumstances it may be used as evidence against the lovers.

Caught in public. Many, many people have had sex in "public" places, usually without getting caught. Depending on the circumstances, police might send the lovers on their way. But, if in checking identification and asking questions, the police determine that the lovers are closely related (see "self-incrimination" above), they might arrest the lovers even when they would have otherwise let them go.

So what can those who enjoy consanguinamory do to protect themselves? Any of these steps might help.

1) Consult a lawyer. A criminal defense or family law attorney might be someone well worth consulting.

2) Move to more enlightened states or countries. Moving also may get you away from those who are aware of your biological relation and would oppose your relationship. The best states in the US are Rhode Island and New Jersey. Perhaps the worst state is Texas, which technically criminalizes sex between first cousins (as do a few others).

3) Be careful who you tell and what you tell them. In the US, we have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination (see 5th Amendment) and the right to remain silent when arrested by law enforcement. It's a good idea when dealing with police to never give them any more than polite, brief "yes" or "no" or "I don't know" or "I don't remember" answers unless even one of those could incriminate you. In the US, you also have the right to an attorney and it is a good idea speak up and ask for a lawyer if you're held or taken in by police. Also in the US, unless there is imminent danger to someone, you don't have the let police into your home without a search warrant, and even search warrants can have limits. YOU may think something is obvious and gives you away, the police may even have figured it out, but staying silent about it can still protect you. Please see this about talking with the police: http://thefinalmanifesto.tumblr.com/post/96501704933/given-the-topic-of-my-blog-i-think-this-is

4) Be careful what you document. Many lovers enjoy taking video or pictures of themselves having fun with each other, but for the consanguinamorous, such media, if it falls into the wrong hands, can be trouble.

5) Have a cover story. Anticipate questions, whether from those who know you or those who don't who might not approve. There's nothing unusual or unconventional about family members living together, going places together, or frequently visiting each other. In extreme situations, consanguineous lovers might want to take on "beards," meaning pretending to have a relationship with (even marrying) others to direct attention away from their "forbidden" relationship. If someone does this, it is better not to deceive the beard(s) but rather have an agreement with someone who is fully informed. An example of an ideal situation along these lines would be if two siblings from one family married two siblings from another family. Such marriages have always gone on and were even popular in some places in the past, whether as real marriages or as beard situations.

6) Know your risk in having biological children together. Many consanguineous lovers opt not to take the risk, either for genetic reasons or legal reasons (or, like other people, because they just plain preferred not to have children). In some places, a credible defense if DNA proves a child was born to close relatives is to claim that the child was conceived through using a turkey baster or condom or sex toy that resulted in artificial insemination (the claim would be that the male ejaculated onto or into the object, which was then inserted into the female). In such places, it is the actual sex act that is criminal, not having genetic children together.

7) Stick to private places and lock the door when you get to the fun.

For more, see this by Cristina on dealing with authorities in the US https://consanguinityblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/consconanguinamory-and-the-police/ and Jane's blog entry on dealing with the authorities in the UK https://consanguinamory.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/no-comment/

Note that most ethicists say it is OK to lie to authorities who are trying to enforce unjust laws or polices. An extreme example is a Nazi SS officer asking you, "Are you hiding any Jews here?" It was ethical to say "No." Well, I think that applies here, too, though the situation is not as extreme. It is nobody else's business if adults are having consensual sex.

This advice shouldn't even be necessary, but until we get to the point where we have relationship rights for all adults, including full marriage equality, consanguinamorous people should think about protecting themselves. Of course, some level of trouble is necessary to make change. Laws need to be overturned in courts or changed by legislatures, but it is up to each set of lovers to decide for themselves if they want to come out of the closet to push for those things. The more other people realize that consanguinamory is a reality all around them, the sooner the persecution will be greatly reduced.

Police officers usually have some wiggle-room when it comes to investigating or arresting people can can look the other way if they choose. Prosecutors can choose not to prosecute. Judges can dismiss cases. Juries can refuse to convict (research jury nullification). So we beg these people to let consenting adults love each other without harassment, without prosecution.

This was adapted from here: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2013/07/how-consanguineous-lovers-can-avoid.html
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