An Open Letter to Theresa May

Dear Mrs. May,

I realize that you’re a busy woman right now with the Brexit negotiations, however there is an issue that I believe should be brought to your attention, and it is a human rights issue. Thus I believe this to be of great importance, both for the people currently affected by unjust laws, and for demonstrating that we are a truly free and tolerant society.

While the legislation currently gives equal rights to LGBT persons, a significant step in the right direction to be sure, however it does not go far enough. There are still people in the UK, and indeed the world, who are living in fear of being imprisoned because of who they love. I am speaking of ACI (adult consensual incest) couples who are not only denied the right to marry, but further denied the right to express their love in the natural way. As an activist for consanguinamory, I am telling you that this is unacceptable and is tantamount to a breach of human rights.

I realize of course that a lot of people, perhaps even yourself, are uncomfortable with the idea of incest. This is because most people have a strong Westermarck Effect which in essence is reverse sexual imprinting, which in the majority of people renders the idea of dating a close relative icky and gross. However, not everybody experiences Westermarck Effect and thus the idea is certainly not gross to every single person. In cases of Genetic Sexual Attraction, there was never any possibility of the Westermarck effect taking hold because there was a separation (perhaps due to a child being taken into care, or a divorce) and they become reunited only when both parties are adults. Up to 50% of adoptees who are reuinted with their biological relatives experience feelings of GSA. How common non-GSA (incest where there was never any separation) relationships are is currently unknown for obvious reasons.

I realize that there may be some concerns raised during our bid for equality, and I will answer those in brief here:

  1. Concerns about pedophilia – This isn’t the sort of incest we’re talking about here, I’m talking about legalizing incest between consenting adults who are considered competent to make their own choices in life. If one is old enough to star in a pornographic movie, purchase intoxicating liquer, and to fight and die for their country, then they are old enough and competent to decide whether or not incest is right for them. We as a community wholeheartedly condemn and abhor paedophilia, and any person taking advantage of persons who are underage, and as such we believe that stronger penalties should be in place for those who do sexually abuse youngsters, whether the abuser and the victim are related or not.
  2. Concerns about power imbalances – There is a perception in society that adult offspring can never consent to sex with one of their parents. On behalf of every consanguinamorous person who has ever fallen in love with a parent, I wholeheartedly state that this is complete nonsense. In most peoples adult lives, parents have quite little authority compared to say… ones boss. Now, it may be against the regulations in many companies, but if a boss has sex with an employee it’s hardly a criminal matter. Nobody would say that the employee cannot consent simply because one has on paper authority over the other at work. Furthermore nobody could argue that a poor person cannot consent to sex with a rich person. So why exactly are incest couples being held to a completely different standard to the rest of the population? They shouldn’t be, and the double-standard need abolishing.
  3. Concerns about Inbreeding – We do not deny that increased risks exist should any incest couples decide to have a child, however this in and of itself is not a sufficient reason to deny people their rights. Increased risks of congenital abnormalities exist for a wide range of other persons: women over 40, people who drink or smoke heavily, illegal drug users, people who have serious inheritable disabilities, people who must take certain medications, people who have undergone treatment for cancer as those medications reduces the viability and quality of the gametes.As you can see, this is by no means an exhaustive list by any means, but it does demonstrate my point. None of the above listed people are banned from having relationships and sex, and exercising their right to bear children. Some of the above mentioned persons will carry far higher risks than the average incest couple, thus again, we should apply the same standards to all members of society and not just those we approve of. Furthermore, many incest couples choose not to have a baby because of the increased risk. I think a better approach should be to offer genetic counselling to such couples and allow them to make this very personal choice themselves.
  4. Concerns about the impact legalization will have on society – People raised those same concerns with regards to legalizing homosexuality if you look at history, and look at how wrong they were. Those concerns are just as invalid over us as they were about gay people. A few eyebrows are going to be raised of course, and naturally in the early days there will be some incestophobic incidents, but honestly, given time the population will adjust to seeing us as a natural part of relationship diversities. The key is that we’re normal people in normal relationships that just vary a bit from what’s average. This shouldn’t be a crime.

Just consider what I have said here, because the arguments I have put forward to you should at least make you think about it. Consanguinamory is a normal and natural relationship orientation, some of us do not and cannot be happy in ‘normal’ relationships because there is an extra bond that exists for us, the family bond plus romance is all-encompassing love, so your ‘normal’ feels pretty empty to a lot of us. It’s an orientation we didn’t ask for and cannot help having. When the law denies us the right to have a consanguinamorous relationship, it denies us the right to be complete, the right to be what we really are. When we try to settle for less, it is unfair not only to us, but to the regulars we feel we must settle for. This is akin to how so many gay people used to enter heterosexual marriages only to feel empty inside. All we’re asking for is the right to be ourselves without being criminalized.

Theresa, I am asking you now, one human being to another, do the right thing and bring this up in parliament, read this letter to the MPs and the speaker, let them hear and see the suffering the current legislation is causing. I am reaching out to you, the Prime Minister, because you have the ability to be a real ally to us, and I believe that you’re a fair minded woman who wants to do the right thing for all those you govern. This is an issue that will be important hopefully in the not too distant future, and it is one that you shouldn’t play party politics with, because regardless of whether people are Tory, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP or whatever else, we all need to enjoy the same human rights. This is something that effects peoples lives. Our community is relitively few in number, and most of us are too shy and afraid to say what needs to be said, which is why this letter exists.

Should you wish to discuss this with me further, you may e-mail me at janedoeofks@protonmail.com

Thank you in advance for your attention and any action you may take,

Jane Doe

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