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Cousin Marriage and the Supreme Court

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No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

That is from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling released this morning on same-sex marriage. Some may be wondering what today's ruling means for cousin marriage across these United States. The short answer is, "nothing... for now." The questions before the court were narrow in scope and limited solely to the matter of same-sex marriage; nothing changes for cousin marriage.

Careful reading of the ruling seems to indicate that same-sex cousin couples are still prohibited from obtaining a marriage license in states where first cousin marriage is prohibited (e.g., West Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, or Washington). Additionally, should a same-sex cousin couple from one of these prohibitive states choose to marry in a state where cousin marriage is legal (e.g., California, New York, or Massachusetts), the language of the ruling seems to imply that the home state's law regarding cousin marriage would prevail because the prohibition is not based on the "same-sex character" of the marriage.

From the "Opinion of the Court", authored by Justice Kennedy:

These cases also present the question whether the Constitution requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of State. As made clear by the case of Obergefell and Arthur, and by that of DeKoe and Kostura, the recognition bans inflict substantial and continuing harm on same-sex couples.

Being married in one State but having that valid marriage denied in another is one of "the most perplexing and distressing complications" in the law of domestic relations... Leaving the current state of affairs in place would maintain and promote instability and uncertainty. For some couples, even an ordinary drive into a neighboring State to visit family or friends risks causing severe hardship in the event of a spouse's hospitalization while across state lines. In light of the fact that many States already allow same-sex marriage -- and hundreds of thousands of these marriages already have occurred -- the disruption caused by the recognition bans is significant and ever-growing.

As counsel for the respondents acknowledged at argument, if States are required by the Constitution to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the justifications for refusing to recognize those marriages performed elsewhere are undermined... The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court must also hold -- and it now does hold -- that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.

Recent history has shown that same-sex cousin couples are far more likely to be successful at challenging the law in court than opposite-sex cousin couples. First, the same-sex couple would receive preferential treatment by civil liberty organizations. A few years back, as the ACLU was collecting all of the same-sex marriage cases it could muster, the ACLU of Wisconsin declined to consider taking on the case of an opposite-sex cousin couple in Wisconsin that was facing felony incest charges. Put simply, the same-sex cousin couple will receive plenty of support to get their day in court... and win.

Additionally, the ruling included a line which those who agree with the prohibition of cousin marriage will exploit to use against opposite-sex cousin couples: "Indeed, with respect to this asserted basis for excluding same-sex couples from the right to marry, it is appropriate to observe these cases involve only the rights of two consenting adults whose marriages would pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties." This will be used to imply that children born to opposite-sex cousin couples are at risk of harm, and therefore justifiably excluded.

Plenty of scientific/medical evidence calls this into question. Besides, do we also prohibit fertile women over the age of 35 or who smoke from marriage? Or any other person supposedly predisposed to elevated risk? The Court seems to make clear that marriage and procreation are completely unrelated activities. To the argument about the connection between opposite-sex marriage and procreation, the Court answers:

The respondents also argue allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution by leading to fewer opposite-sex marriages. This may occur, the respondents content, because licensing same-sex marriage severs the connection between natural procreation and marriage. That argument, however, rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couple's decisionmaking processes regarding marriage and parenthood. Decisions about whether to marry and raise children are based on many personal, romantic, and practical considerations; and it is unrealistic to conclude that an opposite-sex couple would choose not to marry simply because same-sex couples may do so.

When will we see cousin marriage prohibitions stricken from the books in all 50 states, or at the very least, require the states to recognize marriages legally formed in other states? Will we first see a same-sex cousin couple defeat their home state law with the ruling specifically limited to same-sex cousin couples? Will we see a polygamous couple defeat all 50 states' prohibitions against polygamy... so long as there are no cousins in the polygamous marriage?

Taking a paragraph (already quoted above) and adjusting it for cousin marriage:

Being married in one State but having that valid marriage denied in another is one of "the most perplexing and distressing complications" in the law of domestic relations... Leaving the current state of affairs in place would maintain and promote instability and uncertainty. For some couples, even an ordinary drive into a neighboring State to visit family or friends risks causing severe hardship in the event of a spouse's hospitalization while across state lines. In light of the fact that many States already allow same-sex cousin marriage -- and hundreds of thousands millions of these marriages already have occurred -- the disruption caused by the recognition bans is significant and ever-growing.

Perhaps someday... not likely soon, but someday.

CM

DISCLAIMER:  The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author.

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When I read what the court stated I can't help but think about cousin marriage. On Facebook I see people post comments such as "what a great victory" and "marriage equality" but that isn't true. This is is just an opinion of mine so Im sorry if this offends anyone.

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Couldn't cousin couples use the same argument gay couples did? Equal protection under the law and such? Freedom of Religion as well?

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For a time, I was involved in a romantic relationship with my first cousin. That was many years ago now, but I haven't stopped thinking about this community. I'm still a romanic maverick though, as I am polyamorous.

These talks are already happening in the polyamorous community. We've been waiting marriage equality based on sexual orientation for win before getting serious about trying to gain acceptance for a broader definition of marriage equality. Now, I am seeing stirrings of "Is now the time?" To that I say, yes, now is the time. While the country is still talking about this issue, we should move the conversation to how we can move the definition to be for any two consenting adults. (I'm of the opinion that a marriage between A, B, and C is really just three marriages between A and B, B and C, and A and C.)

The poly and consanguineous communities should work together. We are allies in this. We're stronger together, and together we can achieve *full* marriage equality.

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When I read what the court stated I can't help but think about cousin marriage. On Facebook I see people post comments such as "what a great victory" and "marriage equality" but that isn't true. This is is just an opinion of mine so Im sorry if this offends anyone.

well you don't offend me with your opinion.

i'm offended though that when i log in to work on my blog, i'm greeted with gay stripes all over the top of my page. i'm offended when i read all these liberal opinions from loud mouths who think gay marriage is ok but are the harshest critics of all against cousin marriage. i'm offended that state rights have been annihilated and the constitution has been decimated by the over-reaching federal government.

i don't think for a minute that cousin couples are going to be able to ride the skirt-tails of the supreme court's ruling. what is "right" is only right in the narrow minds of the liberal think-tank and has nothing to do with what is truly right or wrong. i would be willing to bet that pedophilia will be accepted before cousin marriage becomes legalized nationwide. nambla has been pushing for that for years, and since the same sex marriage thing has been in the courts, nambla has already been trying to garner more support to at least decriminalize it and get it classified as a sexual orientation. and sadly, it's been gaining traction.

(and to those who might be offended by my opinion, oh darn. bluebird, you should never apologize for your opinion. if people are offended, that's their problem. for now, at least, we are still guaranteed the freedom to say what we think.)

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Wow. We should have a political section.  There could be some spirited debates.  :)

I don't associate with either party.  There are extremists in both parties that wreaking havoc in the government. 

I've read the opinions from the Court and understand where the majority found its merit.  I do not agree the Court or the Federal government is overreaching.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. 

I could not be offended by all the celebration that is occurring.  I'm a devout Christian and son of a pastor.  It is not up to me to judge another...it's up to Him alone.  While my beliefs call me to spread his word, it is also my calling to ask everyone to search their heart for peace..and understanding.  Jesus taught us to love each other, without exclusion.  Terrible when I see others spew angry and hateful messages...intended as such or not, they have allowed Satan to occupy their tongue.

In regards to law....the law of the land is applied without consideration to my beliefs.  Our country is made up of believers, non-believers, etc. and the Founding Fathers intended to keep separate the power of the church from the government.  The rights should be equal for all.

To whether or not cousin marriage would be legalized by this ruling? I don't believe so and would require another challenge in court.  Do I think the court could reach the same ruling under equal protections, perhaps, but I'd expect a similar split.

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Ecitsu, while I am more than willing to discuss the SCOTUS ruling as objectively as possible, I must point out that I do not find it likely that you will find (at least in the administrators and moderators of this forum) many of us who would support what you are asking in terms of a partnership to support further redefinition of marriage.  Speaking only for myself, I am an Evangelical Christian, and do not support changing the meaning of marriage beyond restoring the traditional Biblical understanding (including Levitical restrictions on kinship).

I think an interesting challenge would be whether or not the government has any Constitutional authority to regulate marriage at all.  Under previous interpretations of the Constitution and previous reasons cited for decisions regarding marriage (i.e., Skinner v. Oklahoma and Loving v. Virginia), the government recognized a compelling state interest for doing so.  The most recent ruling seems to undermine that and call into question whether the government can claim a compelling state interest in regulating (or defining) marriage at all.

In the purest meaning of the word, any decision about who can or cannot marry and in what arrangement is "discriminatory".  That is, we "discriminate", or make a decision, about what we believe to be a superior and preferable arrangement.  In the past, the government favored a discriminatory arrangement in which marriage was between one man and one woman who met certain other discriminatory qualifications, e.g., of a certain age, giving consent, not incapacitated by intoxicants or mental disability, neither party already married to another, not related within certain degrees of kinship, and - at one time - not having committed certain criminal offenses or being of different races.  Skinner v. Oklahoma and Loving v. Virginia removed the last two, respectively, and this decision removes the first of those discriminatory elements - opposite biological sex.

In the past, the discrimination about who can and cannot marry was based primarily on religious codes, mores, traditions, and concerns about resulting procreation.  This decision made clear in its wording that procreation concerns can no longer be considered grounds for such discrimination because couples make decisions on whether or not to have children for many reasons which may or may not involve marriage and they make decisions about whether or not to marry quite apart from decisions about procreation.  All that remain are religious code, more, and tradition.

Traditionally, we recognized marriage as one man and one woman because polygamy has certain other effects that can prove detrimental to the overall structure of a society.  For example, wealthy men who take a dozen wives (and less wealthy men who take two or three) create a scarcity of available candidates for marriage among the remaining far less wealthy men.  Such an arrangement can exacerbate problems of wealth distribution, leading women to prefer to marry wealthy men... and having greater odds of being able to do so.  This court would not see this scenario, which still plays out in places like Saudi Arabia, as posing a realistic threat in a modern, industrialized nation where women run major corporations, participate at the highest levels of our political processes, and can just as easily choose a one-woman/multiple-husband arrangement (or even one-woman/several-women and men).  I mention that because I do know of a particular polyamorous trio in California who have exactly that arrangement - a woman in polyamorous cohabitation with two men (not "married" to either of them).  What happens when they do decide, for the same reasons cited by the Justices, that they want "marriage" and all of the supposed rights and privileges appertaining? The three-legged stool on which polygamy prohibitions rests has lost a leg.

Some state legislators (specifically Oklahoma and Mississippi) are preparing to propose bills that eliminate "marriage" entirely from the state laws, or simply outlaw the issuance of any marriage licenses by the state.  By their own admission, this is an effort to prevent the state from being forced to recognize same-sex marriage.  Ironically, most articles and blogs that suggested this very idea between 2002 and 2010 were written by same-sex marriage's most ardent supporters.  The idea - get the government entirely out of the marriage business.

In light of the recent ruling, (and understanding that there is no way going back) I tend to agree.  Ironically, that would have been easier to do 100 years ago... before the federal government got into the nasty business of dealing directly with citizens on tax and benefit matters (rather than going through the states).  Today, as the Court pointed out, there are more than 1,000 federal laws pertaining to marriage rights and benefits.  Some get very complicated and are so deeply entrenched in our society that we scarcely think about them at all; their removal would certainly give us pause when we realize that widows would lose social security benefits on the death of their spouse, whom they supported domestically for 50+ years, when spouses are forced to testify against one another in criminal proceedings, and when a spouse is denied the right to visit a dying partner of those same 50+ years and worse denied the right to make final arrangements because they couldn't afford the legal costs of writing a Last Will and Testament.  Who pays to move a family when a government employee or military member is reassigned to another state?  The complications are endless.

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Wow. We should have a political section.  There could be some spirited debates.  :)

I don't associate with either party.  There are extremists in both parties that wreaking havoc in the government. 

I've read the opinions from the Court and understand where the majority found its merit.  I do not agree the Court or the Federal government is overreaching.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. 

I could not be offended by all the celebration that is occurring.  I'm a devout Christian and son of a pastor.  It is not up to me to judge another...it's up to Him alone.  While my beliefs call me to spread his word, it is also my calling to ask everyone to search their heart for peace..and understanding.  Jesus taught us to love each other, without exclusion.  Terrible when I see others spew angry and hateful messages...intended as such or not, they have allowed Satan to occupy their tongue.

In regards to law....the law of the land is applied without consideration to my beliefs.  Our country is made up of believers, non-believers, etc. and the Founding Fathers intended to keep separate the power of the church from the government.  The rights should be equal for all.

To whether or not cousin marriage would be legalized by this ruling? I don't believe so and would require another challenge in court.  Do I think the court could reach the same ruling under equal protections, perhaps, but I'd expect a similar split.

then perhaps you need to go back and read the constitution for yourself. the federal government did not have the authority to establish any marriage law at all.

and no, i wouldn't be debating anything. i state my opinion. it's based on constitutional law and on a biblical world view. it's the right opinion, and it's the only one i give a darn about. debating with people who have a different world view and no understanding of the constitution (or for that matter have no understanding of what separation of church and state actually means) is a waste of my time.

that being said, i don't associate with asses or elephants. i'm a conservative christian. i believe the democratic party AND the republican party are self-serving aggrandizing machines that don't give a darn about serving the people who elect them.

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and by the way, God commands us to love one another. He also tells us not to be a part of this world. i don't hate gays. i don't hate liberals. i don't hate drug dealers. i don't hate any of them. i love them as human beings. and i pity them for their choices, because those choices will eternally separate them from God. i have great compassion for their confusion and desolation because they don't have a relationship with the God that saves.

but i hate what they do, and so should you. i hate that they are forcing their ungodly world view on children. i hate that they are forcing those who disagree with their view to either cower in silence or face public discrimination that includes everything from loss of employment and hefty fines to jail time and even, in many instances, to death threats.

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Funny, I was getting ready to post about the Supreme Court decision myself when I saw CC's post. 

Frankly, I am tired of hearing everyone rejoice over the legalization of gay marriage.  I have no problems with it per se, and am glad that some of my friends will now be able to legalize their commitment to a long term partner.  But when I see posts and hear folks talk about "Love is Love" and "You should be able to marry who you want", I want to scream!

What about the population that is discriminated against in half of these states?

Where is the outrage for banning a marriage that has no moral, religious or scientific footing?

Why aren't the loving, accepting liberals standing up for us when comedians use our love for fodder?

Why do we need to hide elements of our relationship from others for fear of rejection?

The marriage issue is really more complex when we look at it closely.  Once the church became involved in marriage, the institution became more complex, and even more so once government got its grimy hands on it.

I know that my state will not change its mind on cousin couples anytime in the near future.  But I would at least like to see people be more open-minded.  I have a friend who is a high school science teacher who still believes that cousin-created children are going to be plagued with genetic problems!

All I can say is that as much as I love my state, we have considered moving in order to marry.  Of course, he has just today started a new job, so that move probably won't be anytime soon.   

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Thanks.  I have read the Constitution, and I find that remark rather unnecessary.  You are entitled to your opinion as I am mine.

So, if your opinion is the right one and don't give a darn about anyone else's.  Are you here to espouse your opinions upon others without care or regard to what they think? Really?

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I would love to see cousin marriage legalized and I do believe it can happen, and the time really is now. The problem in all of this, the thing that sets us apart from the gay community, is that we are not making enough enough noise. I know that cousin couples is a common occurence, but I also know that is incredibly difficult to find them. It is taboo. No one talks about it. Most people that I have met in person who have had a relationship with a cousin have hidden it. After seeing how open I am about my relationship, I have had people I know confide it me about theirs. They key word there is "confide". Being gay was once taboo. Being gay was once something people felt that needed to hide. Now the gays are proud. They take pride in their freedom to love. Why shouldn't we? We should be PROUD! We should connect with one another, educate people on the subject, work together, and gather supporters, and then yes, we can and will succeed. All we need is the strength to stand up to a society that misunderstands us. When they choose to discriminate against us, we should choose to educate them. Use science and fact to educate them. Hit them with an emotional appeal, as well. I would gladly and proudly show off my beautiful, incredibly intelligent son who happens to be 100% healthy and birthdefect free, like many children born to cousin couples. We need to stop debating and start focusing. We need to join together in numbers, and make change happen.

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Thanks.  I have read the Constitution, and I find that remark rather unnecessary.  You are entitled to your opinion as I am mine.

So, if your opinion is the right one and don't give a darn about anyone else's.  Are you here to espouse your opinions upon others without care or regard to what they think? Really?

then you have no understanding of the constitution if you have read it. and yes, my remark is necessary. you also have no understanding of the different branches of government and what their roles are. the federal government is limited in its power, as is the supreme court. this new "law" is unconstitutional and illegal on so many levels it is not even funny.

and yes, my opinion is correct because it's based on FACT, rather than emotion. and yes, i really don't give a darn about any opinions that are formed out of ignorance.  if you don't like it, you're free to go. that's the way it is here. i'm an administrator, i'm not going anywhere. you're a newbie. you can stay or go, it matters not.

furthermore, quit tossing around the PK label as though that gives you more credibility.  understanding of who God is comes from a personal relationship with Him, not your daddy's.

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It appears that you may assume you are a constitutional expert.  Perhaps you should run for office and show everyone how wrong they are. 

I'm passionate about my walk with Christ and have been shown the way by  my parents and the reason for my statement.  My, mother, thank you is the ordained minister of my family...not my 'daddy', thank you.  I don't assume it gives me any credibility, but I rather look upon that which I have learned.

Your assumptions seem impassioned. And, I appreciate people with a passion, but it is not necessary to speak to someone as if they are uneducated.

We obviously disagree on the point that was made.

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here's the point, close.

marriage has ALWAYS been left to states to decide. the government has recognized and acknowleged for more than 200 years that marriage was up to the individual states and was not a matter for the federal government. furthermore, the supreme court is a judicial branch of government and therefore are allowed only the privilege of applying the law, impartially. they overstepped their bounds.

in case you're wondering, the ONLY branch of government allowed to create law is congress. congress creates laws by passing bills. members of congress who vote in favor or opposition of a bill are supposed to be voting ON BEHALF of their constituents, not on their own personal feelings.

and see this is why i have no interest in wasting my time with people who are so frigging clueless. they have followed the pied piper so long they actually believe that the government is acting legally and in our interest. they actually have bought into the baloney that we the people are here to serve the government. they've also bought the crap that the 'separation of church and state' was designed to keep religion out of  government, or the government. the truth is that separation of church and state was to keep government out of religion.

you also seem to think that being a christian means support everybody. well you've got a very imbalanced view of who God is if that is the case. it's not hateful to tell people that God condemns homosexual behavior. it's hateful to sue individuals and bankrupt them personally because they will not deny their faith to cater to a political agenda. the hatred spewed daily is directly aimed at christians, and at God. your responsibility as a child of God is to be spreading HIS truth. and that truth is that unrepentant sin is going to keep them eternally separated from Christ.

now keep your eyes open. unless their is a revival in this land, quickly, you're going to see churches and pastors sued to bankruptcy for refusing to perform gay marriage ceremonies. you're going to see things like homeschooling become illegal. you're going to see the bible become classified as hate literature. it will be banned, and having it in one's possession will become a criminal offense. parents who teach their children that God's plan is traditional marriage between man and a woman will have their children taken away from them.

what side are you going to stand on? God's side? or the politically correct side?

i want to ask you something. i want a serious response. it will be your last opportunity to discuss this with me, because i'm letting you know up front i'm not going to respond. i'll read it, but i'm done discussing this with you because as i have pointed out, it's a waste of my time. but i'd still like the answers to these questions... and i'd really like you to give serious thought and PRAYER before you answer.

1. who is Jesus to you, personally?

2. what does God mean to you, personally?

3. what does it mean for christians to be the salt and light of the world?

4. what does it mean for christians to be in the world but not of the world?

5. what does separation of church and state, in your opinion, mean? and how does that jive with the historical definition and application of it?

6. what does this mean? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

if you need some assistance with questions 5 and 6, i could recommend you watch some schoolhouse rock videos. 

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and one last thing, if you think that the majority rule is always right, you're very, very wrong. 

God establishes right from wrong, at least for believers. do you, or do you not agree with that statement?

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According to you, speaking with you has been deemed a waste of your time, so I shall not waste anymore if mine.  I have no interest in having a discussion with a wall.

I wish you the best.

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well that's a shame, because it wouldn't have been a waste of YOUR time, or of God's. i hope you'll put some thought and prayer into the questions even if you don't respond here. that was the whole point of me asking them, anyway.

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I have to get in here and vent a little myself.

First, I don't particularly care one way or another as to who wishes to marry whom. I am concerned with the complete disregard of the traditional view of marriage. Not that I'll be doing it again any time soon, if ever, but, that's neither here nor there either.

I was furious almost to the point of biting nails Monday though. I was on lunch, and in the background on the radio, I had on the Laura Ingram show. She wasn't there, and I forget who the host was, but they had a supposed "Constitutional attorney" on as a guest. He was railing on and on about this decision. He made the (erroneous) point OVER AND OVER, and I quote "We don't allow first cousins to marry, blah, blah, blah". I wanted to jump through the radio and choke this idiot. Yes Poindexter, first cousins ARE allowed to marry in, I would venture a bet, MORE States than allowed gay marriage 5 years ago. To begin with, originally, (with the exception of possibly the last few States to enter the Union besides Alaska and Hawaii) ALL States at some point allowed first cousins to marry. POSSIBLY excluding Louisiana, since their codes are somewhat based on Napoleonic Law, and not English Common Law. The prohibitions started coming in about the same time the State (and collectively, States) began issuing marriage "licenses". Until about the Civil War, there were only maybe one or two States that issued them. Originally, they were to allow for interracial marriages, which were prohibited by law, even up until as late as 1967. A license is permission from the State to engage in an activity otherwise prohibited. Similar to a dispensation, if you will. That, however, so far as I can tell, is not prohibited by the Bible. And, as WE all know, NEITHER IS FIRST COUSIN MARRIAGE. This idiot was going on and on about it too. I tried to go online and comment to Laura's site, but found no link to comment on the show. I'm not done trying though. God help us all if this buffoon actually IS a Constitutional attorney, and all the rest of them are as well informed as him. Of course, our President is a Constitutional attorney too, so go figure. Maybe we are screwed after all.

Irrespective of my, or anyone else's views on marriage, or this decision, there is NOTHING Biblically against first cousin marriage, and as we know, God commanded it more than once. There IS scripture, agree with it or not, against homosexuality. For this clown to be on national conservative radio, in all his pompous piety, claiming some sort of moral outrage, all the while disparaging cousin couples, really, REALLY rustled my jimmies.

ps: I tried to load a pic, of the gorilla with the rustled jimmies, but it says the file is too big. Sucks, because it fits this case perfectly.

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I have to get in here and vent a little myself.

First, I don't particularly care one way or another as to who wishes to marry whom. I am concerned with the complete disregard of the traditional view of marriage. Not that I'll be doing it again any time soon, if ever, but, that's neither here nor there either.

I was furious almost to the point of biting nails Monday though. I was on lunch, and in the background on the radio, I had on the Laura Ingram show. She wasn't there, and I forget who the host was, but they had a supposed "Constitutional attorney" on as a guest. He was railing on and on about this decision. He made the (erroneous) point OVER AND OVER, and I quote "We don't allow first cousins to marry, blah, blah, blah". I wanted to jump through the radio and choke this idiot. Yes Poindexter, first cousins ARE allowed to marry in, I would venture a bet, MORE States than allowed gay marriage 5 years ago. To begin with, originally, (with the exception of possibly the last few States to enter the Union besides Alaska and Hawaii) ALL States at some point allowed first cousins to marry. POSSIBLY excluding Louisiana, since their codes are somewhat based on Napoleonic Law, and not English Common Law. The prohibitions started coming in about the same time the State (and collectively, States) began issuing marriage "licenses". Until about the Civil War, there were only maybe one or two States that issued them. Originally, they were to allow for interracial marriages, which were prohibited by law, even up until as late as 1967. A license is permission from the State to engage in an activity otherwise prohibited. Similar to a dispensation, if you will. That, however, so far as I can tell, is not prohibited by the Bible. And, as WE all know, NEITHER IS FIRST COUSIN MARRIAGE. This idiot was going on and on about it too. I tried to go online and comment to Laura's site, but found no link to comment on the show. I'm not done trying though. God help us all if this buffoon actually IS a Constitutional attorney, and all the rest of them are as well informed as him. Of course, our President is a Constitutional attorney too, so go figure. Maybe we are screwed after all.

Irrespective of my, or anyone else's views on marriage, or this decision, there is NOTHING Biblically against first cousin marriage, and as we know, God commanded it more than once. There IS scripture, agree with it or not, against homosexuality. For this clown to be on national conservative radio, in all his pompous piety, claiming some sort of moral outrage, all the while disparaging cousin couples, really, REALLY rustled my jimmies.

ps: I tried to load a pic, of the gorilla with the rustled jimmies, but it says the file is too big. Sucks, because it fits this case perfectly.

LOL, that's ok, i got the visual :D

did this constitutional attorney bother to bring up in his tirade that marriage was never part of the constitution in the first place, because that authority was delegated to individual states?

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Lady C, you've made some good points.  But I can't help but think about, as Hawk alluded to, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that made interracial marriages lawful in all 50 states.  While the 10th Amendment does provide for a division of power between state and federal gov't, this decision was based upon an interpretation of the 14 Amendment, particularly the Equal Protection Clause.  So as opposed to Making new law, they did interpret the Constitution. 

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LOL, that's ok, i got the visual :D

did this constitutional attorney bother to bring up in his tirade that marriage was never part of the constitution in the first place, because that authority was delegated to individual states?

No, or if he did, I didn't notice it I was so p*ssed off. I really don't think he did. If he doesn't know any better than to spew BS about cousins, then I seriously doubt he has any clue as to the history of marriage licenses, limits on the Federal government, State sovereignty, (other than they should be allowed to decide if they, individually, want to redefine a married couple) or the Biblical and historic relevance of cousin marriage.

Every time I hear someone like him, on the right or the left, pontificate such eloquence, I just believe ever so much more that yes, we are indeed screwed.....     :shocked:

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