Despite news reports, Maine has continued its policy of maintaining discrimination against marriages by consensual adults. The state has continued the false assertion that marriage is primarily about procreation. It has sustained this discrimination for only one reason: cultural and societal bias.
I am, of course, talking about incestuous marriage. Most news reports have falsely stated that Maine's newly signed law allows marriage between "any two persons." But there's a big exception (other than minor and mentally disabled persons): "A person may not marry that person's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle or first cousin."
If the intent of this were only to prevent procreation, then it would add, "... if there is any chance of the couple procreating." So same-sex incestuous marriage, or incestuous marriage where the female has reached menopause, should be allowed. So clearly, the intent is not about preventing such procreation.
So the bill itself, in maintaining discrimination against incestuous marriage, undermines the claim of the gay marriage proponents that social stigma is an insufficient reason to maintain discrimination.
This is not about the principle of equal rights. People who do things for the sake of principles are consistent in the application of those principles whenever possible, and there can be no doubt that the principles apply here to incestuous marriages just as much as gay marriages, as long as procreation is taken out of the equation.
Abigail Adams, in the late 1700s, pointed out to her husband John the hypocrisy of claiming all people inherently have liberty, while maintaining the enslavement of a race of people, and subjugating the rights of women. Of course, to the extent her husband agreed, the Union hung in the balance. No such danger faces us today: so where are the gay marriage proponents speaking up for the rights of same-sex siblings to marry?
Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.