New York court allows uncle and niece to marry

Lot_daughters_Jan_Muller

On Wednesday,the New York ruled that an uncle can legally marry his niece. Via the New York Post:

The state’s highest court has toppled a cultural taboo — legalizing a degree of incest, at least between an uncle and niece — in a unanimous ruling.

While the laws against “parent-child and brother-sister marriages . . . are grounded in the almost universal horror with which such marriages are viewed . . . there is no comparably strong objection to uncle-niece marriages,” Tuesday’s ruling reads.

Judge Robert Smith of the Court of Appeals wrote that such unions were lawful in New York until 1893 and Rhode Island allows them.

The decision stems from a case brought by Vietnamese citizen Huyen Nguyen, 34, a woman who had appealed a ruling by an immigration judge.

The judge had tried to boot her from the United States after declaring that her 2000 marriage in Rochester to her mother’s half-brother was invalid.

Ever since our nation began its nonsensical march towards cultural perdition via homosexual marriage, social conservatives have pointed out that this has nothing to do with equality, because such relationship can never be anymore “marriage” than it can make the participant the king and queen of Great Britain, but rather it strikes not only at the building block of civil society, the family, but at the authority of the state to regulate marriage, a power than has generally been held by a sovereign of some sort since the dawn of human pre-history.

Once marriage acquires the status as a “right,” which it has never, ever been, then any law that affects that right negatively becomes virtually impossible to defend. Take,for instance, this reasoning from the opinion of George Pataki appointee to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, as to why this relationship is legal:

Section 5 as a whole may be thought of as serving two purposes: it reflects long-held and deeply-rooted values, and it is also concerned with preventing genetic diseases and defects. Sections 5 (1) and 5 (2), prohibiting primarily parent-child and brother-sister marriages, are grounded in the almost universal horror with which such marriages are viewed — a horror perhaps attributable to the destructive effect on normal family life that would follow if people viewed their parents,children,brothers and sisters as potential sexual partners. As the Appellate Division explained in Matter of May (280 App Div 647, 649 [3d Dept 1952], aff’d 305 NY 486 [1953]), these relationships are “so incestuous in degree as to have been regarded with abhorrence since time immemorial.”

As a matter of law, preventing “genetic disease and defects” is out the window. For this exception to survive a state would have to show that it restricts marriage of, say, parents who carry the cystic fibrosis gene. It is legal for unsterilized persons with Down Syndrome to marry. And “abhorrence since time immemorial” is a slender reed in today’s culture. To wit:

gay marriage

As Justice Antonin Scalia presciently noted in his dissent in the socially destructive Lawrence v. Texas decision:

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.

Scalia was totally correct. Once it became impossible for a state to legislate based on commonly held morality,it was off to the races. How can it be illegal to have sex on the hood of your car in a school parking lot? Why can’t you go shopping while totally naked?

The first signs are appearing. A “throuple” of Massachusetts lesbians has decided to wed. And the very same people who were arguing that Scalia was just a crazy right winger making stuff up are now saying strangely familiar things like this:

But legalizing consensual adult polygamy wouldn’t legalize rape or child abuse. In fact, it would make those crimes easier to combat.

Right now, all polygamous families, including the healthy, responsible ones, are driven into hiding (notwithstanding the openly polygamous Brown family on TLC’s Sister Wives, that is). In the resulting isolation, crime and abuse can flourish unimpeded. Children in polygamous communities are taught to fear the police and are not likely to report an abusive neighbor if they suspect their own parents might be caught up in a subsequent criminal investigation. In a United States with legalized polygamy, responsible plural families could emerge from the shadows—making it easier for authorities to zero in on the criminals who remain there.

I don’t know how the author here managed to miss the tried, true, and utterly bullsh** arguments of inheritance and hospital visitation.

And sometimes there are stunning admissions, like this from The Daily Beast titled Were Christians Right About Gay Marriage All Along:

At the same time, there is some truth to the conservative claim that gay marriage is changing, not just expanding, marriage. According to a 2013 study, about half of gay marriages surveyed (admittedly, the study was conducted in San Francisco) were not strictly monogamous.

This fact is well-known in the gay community—indeed, we assume it’s more like three-quarters. But it’s been fascinating to see how my straight friends react to it. Some feel they’ve been duped: They were fighting for marriage equality, not marriage redefinition. Others feel downright envious, as if gays are getting a better deal, one that wouldn’t work for straight couples. Maybe they’re right; women are from Venus, after all. Right?

If you think about it, actual monogamy has never been the Western norm. A monogamous ideal, sure—but men could always sleep around, hire prostitutes, and even have long-term affairs with few societal consequences. After all, it’s not single men who’ve made prostitution the world’s oldest profession.

“Marriage will never set us free,” wrote academics Dean Spade and Craig Wilse last September, just as the current wave was getting going. For them, as for 30 years of radical critics including Yasmin Nair, Michael Warner, Lisa Duggan, John D’Emilio, Katherine Franke, Kenyon Farrow, Gayle Rubin, Sally Kohn, and the “Against Equality” collective, same-sex marriage is a step backward for LGBTQ people and others whose agenda is liberation rather than assimilation.

Why? Because marriage is a patriarchal, sexist institution that should be discarded rather than reformed. Because it is, as Spade and Wilse say, a “tool of social control used by governments to regulate sexuality and family formation.” Because it has, in the past, been a tool of racism and colonialism, and in the present, is a means of rationing health care. This is, as Warner named it, “the trouble with normal.”

I never get tired of quoting from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Lenten reflection titled A Thread for Weaving Joy:

As the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb observed more than a decade ago, “What was once stigmatized as deviant behavior is now tolerated and even sanctioned; what was once regarded as abnormal has been normalized.” But even more importantly, she added, “As deviancy is normalized, so what was once normal becomes deviant. The kind of family that has been regarded for centuries as natural and moral — the ‘bourgeois’ family as it is invidiously called — is now seen as pathological” and exclusionary, concealing the worst forms of psychic and physical oppression.6

My point is this: Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be.

Unless there is a seismic shift in the US Supreme Court, marriage, as it has been understood for some thousands of years across hundreds of cultures will disappear from the United States.