An outrageous case of discrimination UPDATE 8: Trial pushed back to March

For those of you who have been following the story of Monica and Caleb, here is the latest info from the Clovis News Journal. I won’t be quoting all of it this time, but you can always click the link if you want to read the whole thing.

The trial for Mares has been set for March 17.

Peterson’s trial date was slated Nov. 8, but during a docket call on Tuesday, District Court Judge Fred Van Soelen said it would also move to sometime next year.

While this is dragging out what I am sure they would prefer to be over and done with, at the least this means that they get to spend Christmas out of jail.

Both cases had been on a “trailing docket,” attorneys said, meaning the dates were not fixed. District Attorney Andrea Reeb asked Van Soelen for a fixed date and defense attorney Thomas Harden did not object.

and then:

Both Reeb and Harden said they’d probably need multiple panels to get enough jurors.

I’m not surprised given the publicity that this case has received.

Van Soelen asked Harden if moving the trial to 2017 would interfere with Harden’s plans to retire next year.

Harden said he’d be fine with a January trial. When told March was more likely, he said he’d arrange new counsel for Peterson in that circumstance.

[…]

“Do it soon,” Van Soelen told Harden, “so we don’t get a new attorney with two weeks before trial saying, ‘I’m brand new on this case; I need more time.’”

Now considering that by the time March comes along the case will already be over a year old, you’d think they’d just drop it. Since them remaining out of prison for this length of time has had no negative impact on society so far, then dropping the case would also have no negative effect. Furthermore it would free up the courts time to try violent criminals.

Honestly, it’s sad that they’re still pressing ahead with such a ridiculous persection of two people who did nothing more than fall in love.

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Discrimination can be deadly

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, today I stumbled upon a really sad story from Zambia in my inbox. It’s the kind of story that really should hammer home just how badly the prejudices against our people can needlessly destroy lives. In this case the life of an 18 year old man who committed suicide after his family discovered that he was having a relationship with his cousin.

AN 18-YEAR-OLD boy of Chipulula village in Isoka district has allegedly committed suicide after the community learnt that he was allegedly having sex with his 16-year-old cousin.

Now, I wasn’t sure of the age of consent in Zambia, but wikipedia had this to say:

A girl under the age of fourteen (14) cannot consent to sexual intercourse under criminal law. However, under Statutory Law, according to the Girls and Women Protection Act, a girl under the age of sixteen (16) can not in any way consent to sexual intercourse.

Okay, so that clears that up, his cousin was over the age of consent in their country, and they were of similar age. This makes it highly unlikely that any form of coercion or abuse was taking place in their relationship. The article appears to indicate that this was a mutually consenting relationship.

Okay let’s continue with this short article:

Muchinga Province commissioner of police Auxensio Daka said in an interview yesterday that the boy’s father, a 60-year-old whose identity has been withheld, reported to police that the body of his son was found hanging in a tree in a nearby bush.

Can you imagine finding the body of any of your relatives in this condition? Even if he had done something terrible this would still be a tragic shock, but in reality he had not done anything wrong.

Mr Daka said the boy went missing last Sunday around 19:00 hours.
This was after the girl’s father got information that his daughter was “sleeping” with the boy and rebuked her for the shameful act.
“This upset the deceased, who could not bear the shame in the community,” Mr Daka said.

Translation: He killed himself because of the reaction of his community. Think about that for a moment, he lost his life because of other peoples irrational and unreasonable prejudice. This is a true tragedy. This highlights exactly the sort of thing that our community wants to bring an end to. Why should any human being be forced to feel such shame that they kill themselves all because of who they fell in love with? In truth this sort of thing should never happen.

It’s worth noting that cousin relationships, even first cousins, are permitted in many countries and are allowed to marry. If anybody needs to feel ashamed it is the community who drove him to kill himself with their prejudiced attitudes.

An outrageous case of discrimination UPDATE 7: Judge denies motion to dismiss the case

Okay folks, the latest installment for you all, and today I will be covering it from not one but TWO articles, the first one by Clovis News Journal written a couple of days before the judge made his decision, and the second one afterwards by Las Cruces Sun-News. Let’s do them in order. Starting with Clovis News Journal.

It begins,

A motion to dismiss incest charges against a Clovis woman rests in the hands of District Judge Drew Tatum.

Tatum intends to render a decision, “hopefully first thing (this) morning,” in the case of 36-year-old Monica Mares, who appeared in a Wednesday hearing at district court.

That sounded pretty much like he had made up his mind, perhaps with not much thought to how this is going to destroy a family for absolutely no good reason.

If Tatum does not grant the dismissal, Mares’ case is scheduled for jury selection at 8:30 a.m. Monday; her jury trial is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Pretty sad really. Just think of what a waste this is of the courts time and money, resources that could have been used legitimately to bring actual criminals to justice, you know, the kind that leave behind victims.

Mares is accused of an incestuous relationship with her son, 19-year-old Caleb Peterson.
Peterson’s case is on a separate court docket.

Neither of these people should be on trial at all, who exactly have they hurt? Nobody.

Arguing for the dismissal was Brett Carter, Mares’ attorney. He filed two motions to dismiss, with one considering state law and one considering federal protections. The root of his arguments rested on Mares’ having the opportunity to make her own choices without government interference.

Too right. Sexual relationships between consenting adults should legitimately be covered by federal law. The fact that States have laws on the books which criminalize incest between consenting adults means that these laws are unconstitutional, and as a matter of fact breach the human rights of consang people everywhere in those states.

“This is a consensual relationship,” Carter said. “Both of the individuals are above the age of 18.”
On the state level, Carter said, the statute covering incest inordinately targets females.

“The statute, judge, punishes a mother and a son,” Carter said, “but does not punish the same relationship if a … a father and daughter had the same relationship.”

Quite often in father/daughter relationships, the man is demonized as a sexual predator and the woman is painted as a ‘victim’ even though she was a willing participant. In any case, when both people are over the age of 18, and are both competent and willing to make the decision to have a relationship, there should be no penalty attached to that decision.

On the state level, District Attorney Andrea Reeb argued, the statute doesn’t make gender distinctions.

New Mexico statute 30-10-3, in full, reads: “Incest consists of knowingly intermarrying or having sexual intercourse with persons within the following degrees of consanguinity: parents and children including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, brothers and sisters of the half as well as of the whole blood, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews. Whoever commits incest is guilty of a third degree felony.”

Which is absolutely outrageous. Think about that, having any of the above relationships is a FELONY in the eyes of the state.

“The key,” Reeb said, “is the general statement, ‘parents and children,’ which was cited in our motion.”

That statement should only apply if by children they mean actual children, if they mean adult offspring then there is no need for criminalization. The statement is far too general, in a world based on common sense it would read ‘parents and their minor children’.

On the federal level, Reeb noted incest is illegal in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and, “the defendant does not have a constitutionally protected right to an incestuous relationship.”

Just because something is illegal in a lot of places does not add weight to the validity of that law. It used to be the case that it was illegal to have homosexual relationships, but just as those laws were wrong then, these laws are wrong now. Right and wrong do not change depending on what laws are currently on the books, they are a constant. Unfair discrimination is unfair discrimination, whichever way you look at it. This ‘argument’, and I use that word in the loosest possible meaning, is nothing more than an appeal to common practice logical fallacy. If everyone wanted to jump off a cliff, would that make doing such a thing right? Of course nobody would argue such a thing, but the logical equivalent is being argued here.

Mares, who has declined local interviews under advice of counsel, did speak with the British publication Daily Mail about how her case was a fight for the rights of people with Genetic Sexual Attraction.

Too right. The more publicity this gets, the greater the awareness of GSA (and ultimately, consanguinamory in general) will become. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Human rights are for EVERYONE, not just the majority. Whatever the outcome of this case, this community is behind Monica and Caleb all the way, and we will ensure that this gets the publicity it deserves from our end.

Mares’ friend, Dayton Chavez, asked to address the court and was rebuffed by Tatum. Chavez said after the hearing he wanted to tell Tatum that Genetic Sexual Attraction should fall under sexual orientation and receive protection under a statute addressing hate crimes.

“I think she deserves her civil rights, and also her human rights,” Chavez said. “There are rules she is protected by, no matter who she is. If we allow gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals to marry, who are we to judge them? Love is love.”

And you know what, he is right, 100%. Dayton should have been listened to.

Carter said if the matter goes to trial, he requested Wednesday’s arguments be allowed as an official record for a request to dismiss charges during the trial. He also requested extra time in the jury selection process because it would be difficult to find 12 people without knowledge of the case. Tatum had no objection on either request.

Good, so the publicity has thrown a huge spanner into the workings and made finding a jury difficult. So glad to hear it.

Now we’ve analyzed the first article, lets move onto the second one.

CLOVIS – A judge denied a motion Thursday to dismiss incest charges against a New Mexico mother who is accused of having a romantic relationship with her 19-year-old son.

So so sad, and quite sickening that they are pressing ahead with these charges, despite the fact that nobody has been harmed by their relationship. Who benefits from this outrageous prosecution? Nobody at all.

The decision handed down in a brief letter sets the stage for Monica Mares’ trial to begin next week in Clovis, where authorities say she was living with her 19-year-old son, Caleb Peterson.

They don’t waste any time do they? Our prayers are with her for the trial next week.

Mares put up Peterson for adoption when he was an infant, and the two recently reunited. After the son moved into his mother’s home, the relationship became romantic and sexual in nature, authorities said.

Which should be none of anyones business but their own.

The Clovis News Journal reports that Judge Drew Tatum’s decision not to dismiss the case comes a day after she appeared in court, with her attorney, who said the state incest statute criminalizes sexual relationships between “parents and children.”

But in the wording, the law does not differentiate between parents and their adult children, and parents with their minor children. The two scenarios are completely different and should be treated very differently too. The former shouldn’t be prosecuted at all while the latter should be penalized harshly.

The relationship between Mares and Peterson represented a consensual relationship between two adults, defense attorney Brett Carter told the judge.

Which is all this judge should have needed to know in order to throw the case out, and save a lot of heartache for everyone concerned, not least this mother/son couple and their family.

Police learned of the relationship in February after responding to a dispute on the street where they lived. It’s not clear if it may have been a statement from a neighbor or an acquaintance that led police to determine the two were romantically involved.

And knowing that they were consenting adults the police could and should have chosen to leave them alone. How sad when busybodies can make an allegation and ruin the lives of two decent people who should have the right to a private life in peace.

A criminal complaint states that Peterson acknowledged the relationship at the time of the arrest, saying his mother had been in a series of abusive relationships with men.

He told authorities he believed he could take care of her and keep her safe from abusive men like those in her past, a criminal complaint states.

Which means that Caleb is a good man and he wants to look after her. There is nothing wrong with that. Their love should be protected, not persecuted.

Mares denied having an incestuous relationship at the time of her arrest.

As I would advise anyone to do. The onus is then on the prosecution to prove your relationship beyond reasonable doubt.

The trial of Peterson, who is also charged with incest, is scheduled for November.

Again an outrage. Neither of these people should be in the dock, that much should be obvious to anyone. I will keep everyone updated and informed as new developments arise.

What some well-intentioned but misunderstanding regulars might say

It’s a fact of life, we live in a world that just doesn’t get us. That said, there is hope and believe it or not, not everyone is actually against us or hateful towards us (although many people are), but sometimes even the more tolerant regulars are hopelessly misinformed when it comes to the issues involved, and thus when they try to give us relationship advice they unintentionally fall short of what we really need. Here is a short list of some of the kinds of things they sometimes say. After each one I will give you a short analysis and give some tips on how to handle that being said to you so that you’re better able to get that person to understand a little more.

Most of these statements and questions are made because of their misunderstanding, and frustrating as it is for us, we must at least acknowledge that these people are not saying these things to be intentionally nasty or insulting. Actually some of these people are trying hard to understand but they just aren’t there yet. It isn’t their fault, it’s down to societal brainwashing. So we must be patient because some of these people may be potential future allies if we handle these questions and statements correctly. Better yet, you can always give them a link to this website.

You might think that you want to be with your [family member], but really you’ve just not found the right person yet. There is plenty more fish in the sea.

This is a common sceptical objection, and it is based on the misunderstand that we have resorted to incest due to bad luck in the field of normal dating. While it is true that many of us have not been particularly successful with relationships with regulars, that is because we’re consanguinamorous and quite simply we aren’t finding regular relationships fulfilling because of the lack of familial bond. We’re not resorting to consanguinamory because of that bad luck. So in effect the person has the cause and effect the wrong way around! It’s an understandable mistake that is based on not understanding the double love dynamic, and the underlying assumption that nobody would really want a consanguinamorous relationship.

You’ll grow out of it, it’s a phase.

This one is usually said to consang teenagers, either by parents who are upset about their childrens sexuality, or by other adults who discover the relationship but are wise enough not to want to ruin their lives by reporting them to the cops. In some cases they may be right and it could be a phase with some people in their mid teens. It is a known fact that some teenagers do experiment sexually with their siblings rather than with their classmates, and then they will go on to have fulfilling regular relationships at a later time.

However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes such experimentation leads to lifelong romantic relationships between siblings. At such a young age it is impossible to know for sure what the youngsters adult sexuality will be, but they should be supported in their journey of self discovery whether it is indeed a phase or not. Only time will tell for sure. Either way such teens need and deserve the love and support of those around them, not condemnation or even assumption making.

If you’re a consang teen yourself, I wrote this article for you.

I support your relationship, but please be careful with contraception.

There are some people, who do fully support our rights to have a consanguinamorous relationship, but they still believe in the mutant babies argument and thus feel the need to remind us about our contraceptive choices. Well intentioned for sure, but any advice given when based on wrong information can be very misguided. Birth defects are not anywhere near as common as most people would fear, closer to 9% for immediate family rather than the almost certainty that most people believe it to be.

The choice to bring a child into the world or not are deeply personal, and of course any additional risk should be taken into consideration as a part of making that choice, and that includes any inheritable diseases that would have a greater chance of being expressed if your relationship is consanguinamorous. But at the end of the day it is your call and nobody should tell you whether to have a child or not. Please read this essay that will help you on procreation choices if it is something you might be thinking about.

I support you, but wouldn’t you prefer a ‘normal’ relationship so you didn’t have to hide and risk being locked up if the wrong person found out?

Again, the person saying it probably has concerns that you will end up in prison and wants to help you to avoid that. However, the problem is not that people are flouting these unfair laws, but that such laws are on the books in the first place! So rather than simply complying to the unreasonable demands of society, it is society that must adapt to accept that some people are consanguinamorous and thus accept our relationships as legitimate.

Not only in forcing ourselves into regular relationships that we do not want unfair on us, it is also very unfair to the regular we may become involved with as a result. It’s akin to a gay person entering a heterosexual relationships simply because it’s the societal expectation to do so. Ultimately suppression of our true sexuality can lead to depression and being unfulfilled in life, and for some people it can lead to infidelity and all of the upset that brings into peoples lifes. Just think for a moment about how the regular person would feel, being with a person who cannot love them on the level they deserve, and who might cheat on them with their family member that they should be allowed to be with in the first place! Whilecheating is immoral and we certainly shouldn’t be condoning it, we should acknowledge that this can and does happen in life, and that it can be better avoided if people are allowed to be with the people that they truly love, and not with who they feel they must settle for.

So while the regular who might recommend that we just find somebody else and settle down, it’s just not a practical choice for so many of us.

I’m not 100% convinced this is healthy, I mean I know that you two love each other, but maybe you’re a bit confused about how to express family love in a healthy way.

Again, this comes as a misunderstanding of the double-love dynamic. It is not a confusion of the familial role and the lovers role, it is both running simultaneously to produce such a strong and meaningful bond that nothing could compare to it. There is nothing inherently unhealthy about it, it’s just different, that’s all.

As much as I can see you love each other, I’m not so sure this can work because of the inherent power differential, it doesn’t seem quite right to me.

This one is usually said in response to intergenerational consanguinamory. The person saying it understandably assumes that parents have too much power over their offspring for a relationship to be healthy… and yet interestingly might not make the same assumption about a rich person and a poor person, or an able bodied person and somebody who has an obvious disability, or two people of differing levels of intelligence…etc. There are workable power differentials in all sorts of relationships, and that includes intergenerational incestuous relationships too. In all fairness, the power differential is not as large as many people believe it to be, and many parents in these relationships overcompensate for the perceived imbalance and make themselves more vulnerable than they would do in regular relationships.

What if you break up though? It might mean destroying the family bond you have.

The person saying this has probably never remained friends with an ex. Yet in life many people do remain friends with their ex partners even though the relationship has come to an end. It depends largely on why the breakup happened. Of course, if it was just that they fell out of double-love or broke up due to misplaced guilt or fear of persecution, then there is absolutely no reason why they cannot continue to have a family relationship after the relationship has ended. If however the breakup was a messy and bitter affair, and was caused by infidelity or domestic abuse, then that’s a whole other story and they may choose not to speak to each other at all. So really, consanguinamorous relationship breakdowns mirror their regular counterparts. There is no such thing in life as a relationship of any kind without risk.

 

Responding to the people who say these things

I believe in honesty, it is better to state your point of view and perhaps to explain their logical misunderstandings to them. Be prepared to answer any questions the person has honestly and fully. If you don’t quite have the words then show them this essay. It is important that they understand how and why you feel your relationship has more to offer than a regular one, and so trying to explain the double-love dynamic is important. While the regular might not be able to understand it on an emotional level, even an intellectual understanding should be sufficient to answer their questions. Remember that although it is frustrating, these people are just trying to understand, it’s just a matter of patience.

Consanguinamory and Polyamory

It’s about time I did a post on this topic, because there seems to be a decent number of people in consanguinamorous polycules. So in many ways these people are double dissed by society firstly for incest and secondly for not being monogamous. Although most of my blog has focused on monogamous consanguinamory, I think it is important that I voice my support for consang poly people too because they do exist and they do make up a portion of our membership.

Of course, in my essays about consanguinamory in general, I have theorized that it is quite possible that there may be a genetic component to consanguinamory, although not a consang gene as such, but a gene which would account for lack of Westermarck Effect. Not only would this explain monogamous consanguinamory, but it would also explain polyamorous consanguinamory too if many people within the family unit had inherited this gene.I could be completely wrong of course, because at this stage we cannot possibly know for sure, as no research has yet been done in this area. However this is one theory that fits the observable facts. We also do not know whether or not genetics plays much of a role in polyamory.

There is of course some polycules, which appear to be less common by my observation, in which an open minded regular is involved. Where there is a consang relationship, and one of those within it is also in a regular relationship too. This has to take an extraordinary amount of trust in the current climate, and I am in awe that some people are able to be so open and I would also commend anyone who is open minded enough to enter such a relationship with a consang couple. Of course, the regular would not be able to experience the whole double-love effect going on because that is exclusive to consanguinamory, but they can undoubtedly form good solid beneficial relationships with the consang couple which can last for many years. I would wager than poly regulars are usually more open minded than mono regulars because they also face discrimination and bashing from society.

One reason I bring all of this up is because there are some people who might support polyamory but not consanguinamory, and vice versa. Yet people who are involved in BOTH need acceptance and support just the same, and it is my intent that they find it here. It also highlights why FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY is needed so that everyone can express their true nature and have that legally recognized by the establishment.

Another reason I bring it up is to break down some of the negative stereotypes. Consanguinamorous people are often described as ‘desperate’, where poly people have been stereotyped as sexually immoral or promiscuous, which is far from the truth. There are many closed polycules where there is no cheating going on, cheating is STILL AGAINST THE RULES in polyamory. It’s not about how many people they can shag and get away with it, it’s about developing and maintaining multiple loving relationships in an arrangement that everyone is happy with. Likewise consanguinamorous people are clearly NOT in such relationships due to being unable to find anyone else, we end up in such relationships because of the overwhelming double-love we feel. It is frustrating to many people that such assumptions are made with so little thought. I realize that making assumptions is sometimes human nature, but come on people, REALLY?

I would call upon the polyamory circles out there to accept that some of their number are also consanguinamorous and to welcome and support them where our communities overlap, we are stronger united than separate and stand a better chance of claiming our legitimate legal rights. Any poly people reading this post who don’t know much about consanguinamory is of course free to read by blog, and of course the other blogs on the subject. Education is most important for achieving our common  objectives. I would also advise LGBT groups to do the same, as not all consanguinamorous polycules are exclusively heterosexual either, and a percentage of monogamous consanguinamory involves gay and lesbian relationships too.