You Can Marry Your Cousin But Not Your Boyfriend [UPDATE: 18.01.2013 - News Article Links No Longer Dead]

*WARNING: While some readers could possibly find what I say in this article offensive, I just want to let you all know that this isn’t my intention, but these are my views and opinions and I am entitled to them just as you are to yours. I look forward to reading your views and responses if anyone takes the time to comment. Thank you.*

I recently stumbled across this article whilst on Facebook.

The headline reads: “Baby with six legs born in Pakistan”

It turns out the babies parents are cousins which my friend spoke to me about in chat saying how the article he read only briefly touched on the fact they were cousins and didn’t bat an eyelid.

But he didn’t know that in a lot of places over the world marrying your cousin is perfectly legal (it is illegal in some states of America and other countries too).

And then what struck me was the fact that taking in the moral aspects of marrying your cousin it is legal to do that but not marry your boyfriend or girlfriend if you are gay.

Gay marriage is still a taboo subject in some places and circles, especially when it comes to the actual marriage part in particular, but then again marrying your cousin is perfectly A-OK. According to Wikipedia the chance of Incestuous Birth Defects goes up to 4% (in none incestuous relationships it is only 2%) and it is this scientific basis that some countries argue for when they are trying to defend cousin marriage.

One of the big reasons marrying your cousin is legal here in the UK is because of the high number of British Pakistani’s that have moved here or grown up here, because for them a lot of their pre-arranged marriages are with their first cousins or even second cousins. But again here in the UK marrying your partner is perfectly okay if you’re gay.

Another friend commented to me on Facebook saying that the reason that marrying your cousin is allowed is because you can still reproduce, do you think this is true? It makes sense but surely it is still immoral? That’s how I see it anyway.

I know religion plays a large part in the anti-gay marriage stance in the US and other places in the world but in the year 2012 I don’t see why people are so closed minded about one thing yet completely okay with something else which should be MORE taboo then the first thing.

I am an atheist but my mother’s side of the family are religious, so we get into heated debates a lot about how I say gay marriage IS okay and my mother states that it isn’t. I think this is such a horrible view, whether your religion states it or not, if you believe it then that is perfectly fine, but some anti-gay activists go out of their way to be homophobic, the way I see it is if it doesn’t affect you then let the gay people be punished and be safe knowing that you are pure in god’s eyes.

What angers me the most is if my mum doesn’t agree with gay people, what would she do if I turned round and said I was gay? I’m sure she would say she was okay with it because I’m her Son, but I know she actually wouldn’t be, how could she? It would be very hypocritical. As my friend says, if in this day and age you said something as old fashioned as “Don’t tell me what to do you’re only a women” or said “don’t sit next to me you nigger”, the shock and outrage would be huge and would cause all types of rage from different people.

(I don’t claim to know much about religion at all, I don’t even know the lords prayer for example, so I don’t know what your religions holy book states about being gay, leave a comment if you can enlighten me!)

Okay okay, this has turned into a rant about religion now and was originally about cousin marriage vs. gay marriage, but then again if religion affects gay marriage but not cousin marriage, I guess it all relates?

*WARNING: While some readers could possibly find what I say in this article offensive, I just want to let you all know that this isn’t my intention, but these are my views and opinions and I am entitled to them just as you are to yours. I look forward to reading your views and responses if anyone takes the time to comment. Thank you.*

This entry was posted in Life and tagged , , , , , , by Daniel Postlethwaite. Bookmark the permalink.

About Daniel Postlethwaite

I study Film & TV Screenwriting with Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire. My three part plan is to move to Manchester next year, get a job in some media related position, then eventually move on up to London and from their go to New York or LA when I've got a tonne of experience. I have had four poems published by ForwardPress and I have had a short story based upon the first day at University published in the local paper. I am always looking for more competitions etc, if you know of any let me know.

34 thoughts on “You Can Marry Your Cousin But Not Your Boyfriend [UPDATE: 18.01.2013 - News Article Links No Longer Dead]

  1. The Bible actually forbids incest and homosexual relations. Incest was allowed in the beginning because there was no one else and it took a while for sin to corrupt the gene pool. I am not homophobic, I love several people who live the lifestyle, and I think they are great people. If they ask me, however, I have to say what I believe about it. Otherwise, they know my views and we go on with our lives, loving each other. You invited me to share my opinion, so there it is. Both are wrong. Will people do them? Probably, just as they commit other sins. I have a feeling your mom would not say it was ok, but would love you anyway. I hope that made sense. :)

    • It makes a little sense to me (you have to understand that I believe what science proves). What do you mean for “sin to corrupt the gene pool”? You mean for the birth defects that some (not all) incest children show? You say you have to say what you believe about it, what DO you believe? Just that it is wrong, and that’s your view and they’re entitled to theirs? If so that’s how it should all be, although if it goes against your religion how do you justify loving someone who is gay?

      PLEASE tell me if I have overstepped my mark here, I really don’t want to be offensive, just curious is all to see how religious people relate to these things. How do religious people explain dinosaurs and evolution and the big bang and things, I’d just really like to know, again though if I am overstepping the mark please tell me and I will ask no more (:

    • Exactly ansuyo – hate the sin, love the sinner. And I know people will get up in arms about me using the words sin and sinner. But as this blog states – everyone is entitled to their opinion. In the Bible, incest and homosexual relations are referred to as sin. I have several very dear friends who are gay and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They know my beliefs, but they also know my love for them. it is not my place to judge them, but to love them.

      • Hi Rowangirl, thanks for your comment (:

        Do you mind if I ask how the justification works of loving someone who is committing a hateful sin? For example, if I loved someone but then they did something that went against my moral beliefs I don’t know if I could go on. For example, if my “friend” turned out to be a racist (extreme example) I would no longer be friends with them because I find the racism (as you find homosexuality) a “hateful” thing?

        Or do you see being gay as something they can’t control and it isn’t there fault, it’s just how they are and you accept that?

        Really interested to know.

      • I’m in complete agreement with rowangirl. A person is not defined by their sin…they are a person struggling with a sin, just like everyone else. In my opinion, science has proved nothing to support gay copulation. It produces no life, which is scientifically what sex was designed for. Thank you for inviting our opinions and providing a civil atmosphere to discuss this topic. :-)

        • Is it truly a sin if they had no say in the matter? Like an earlier comment stated, a gay person is no more in control of their sexuality than a person is with the colour of their skin. It is often said that God created us in his image. I’d love a quote from the Bible that says being gay is wrong.

          Also as a comment stated (think it may have been the same one) the Bible is thousands of years old, how do people still think it applies today in the exact way it was created, as the planet matures and as a race we grow surely must peoples morals.

    • ansuyo, i think you contradict yourself. you said you’re not homophobic. but you also said that if they ask you, then you will have to say what you believe about it. that sounds like you have negative beliefs. so that sounds contradictory – but please straighten me out.

      also, “sin” is a matter of opinion and circumstance and judgement. in some cultures, it is a sin to steal. but if my child is starving and i have no money, you can be damn sure i’m going to steal food and i won’t consider it a sin.

  2. i don’t have any cousins that i would even consider having sex with . haha. i know too much about them

    • I don’t have any cousins at all! Well I do, but I have never met them lol. It just boggles the mind, out of all the people in the world you go for someone that close to you? I know they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, which is true to a certain extent, but if you tried you can move on. People do it all the time after break ups.

  3. Daniel you are a good lad to ask these questions. I think it is dangerous or at least misguided to accept someone else’s interpretation of the bible, which is based on the mores of society from two thousand years ago. The bible condoned slavery and thought it was a good idea for Abraham to murder his son Isaac to prove his devotion to his god. I think most of us realize now that is WRONG WRONG WRONG; I don’t think the bible can be held up as a shining example of moral high ground.

    I am so proud of Washington State for legalizing gay marriage. Every study I know of says you can no more control your sexual orientation than you can control the pigmentation of the skin you are born with. My mother-in-law is very religious, but she says God wouldn’t create creatures he didn’t mean to to love and nurture and allow the comfort of a mate. If god didn’t want spots on the leopard, why would he create them? It is pretty well accepted that a leopard cannot change his spots, even if he wanted to.

    As a heterosexual mother and wife and an upstanding citizen, I believe no one has a right to withhold human rights based on the color of their skin, their gender, or their sexual orientation, which is nobody else’s business anyway. In fact, I wouldn’t impinge up someone else’s rights because of anyone’s religion, either, so long as it doesn’t interfere or impose upon the civil, legal, or human rights of anyone else.

    Most of what anti-gay fundamentalists quote as ‘sin’ is based on someone acting as a mouthpiece for his god, and isn’t based on anything that can be found anywhere in the bible. Even if it were, what gives them the right judge anyone else or try to limit and control anyone else’s civil, legal, or human rights? I cannot even begin to list the sins of the church against humanity, the justifications for the mistreatment of women and discrimination against gays and other minorities, from the Crusades to the Inquisition to the witch hunts–the church even executed people for printing and owning bibles written in English instead of Latin. My point is that the church has no right to be casting stones and declaring who and who is not a sinner.

    Furthermore, this country was founded on the principle of separation of church and state, thank God!. Only when that principle is respected can we even hope that all our citizens will be treated equally. While there are loud outspoken people who cast judgement and feel they have the right to do so because of their interpretation of the bible, more than half the population of the United States of America supports gay rights, including the right to marry. Thank God!

    P.S. I have no strong opinion regarding the marriage of cousins.

    • Hi thanks for your reply, it is very detailed and I like that, you raise good points especially about all the things the church has done, it is often said religious wars are more brutal and wasteful than that of our governments etc (probably more so in the past for example brutal witch hunts as you say)

      Unfortunately I don’t think over half support it in the UK, I was watching a news channel the other day in the gym and there was a poll about whether gay people should actually be allowed to marry and it was skewed at around 60% against 40% for, which was a bit disappointing.

  4. As a hetrosexual woman, I simply see two people who are gay and wanting to get married as being about love. They want to be a family. Love for my family is what makes my world go around. I don’t see what right I have to tell others that they shouldn’t be allowed that.

    • Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you feel that way, it is about love, sure they can’t procreate but many man-woman relationships can’t either for other reasons.

  5. First I think you should never apologise for your beliefs. As you correctly say, everyone is entitled to their own and that includes you. People who tend to get offended when someone expresses their opinion in a civilised manner are usually the same people who are racists, sexists, bigots etc.

    I completely agree with your views of course. On marriage, gay marriage and religious zealotry where the self-proclaimed mouths of god seek to save the barbarians against their will. One small correction though. The UK as of this time does not recognise same-sex marriage. The couples have to create a civil partnership but they are not considered as married. Hopefully this will soon change.

    • Hi thanks for your comment. I didn’t know gay people couldn’t get married here, I knew we had civil partnerships but I dunno, I guess I must have got confused. At least that is better than nothing though, hopefully as you say this will change.

  6. I’m christian and I don’t have anything against hetrosexuals. I find that gay guys can be far kinder and nicer than guys.

  7. After reading the stream of comments and replies it’s good to see your “warrior”side; I mean, it’s good to see you convinced about something so thoroughly. I can’t say I’m so clear about all this. I have gay friends which I appreciate a lot. I’d definitely feel weird if I knew any couple who were cousins. On the other hand, I can’t help but to understand how those who are against gay marriage feel. I guess the real enemy for humanity is the “fundamentalism virus”. Whoever is only capable of accepting just one view is in danger of becoming absolutely lethal and wrong. Neither religion, nor science can help humanity by their own; that’s widely proved! In this neverending oscillating movement, we are always “asimillating and accomodating” as Piaget would put it. Dewey wrote that most of human experiencies aren’t educational because we tend to repel everything from the past state of affairs, instead of being capable of taking from the old ways those things that were good. And I truly believe that there’s always something worth it in everything. I hope I could explain myself.

    Keep on Daniel! It’s always interesting reading you!

  8. I completely, completely agree in every possible way. I don’t think you were being offensive. Everyone has an opinion and the right to express it.

  9. I agree with you, great post.

    My opinion is that if someone could marry a cousin (or sister or brother) then they should be ‘disallowed’ from having kids with that person.

    It is risking chances of having kids who are born with abnormalities by incest. I feel its kind of selfish too by the parents if they do choose to have kids that may have life problems. I believe that incest like this with family members also promotes the whole notion that “my family is only good enough for me, no one else is” and this means people are less social and stick to packs/families.

    I do however believe you should marry who you want to because of free will and love for another regardless of what anyone else thinks. But to bring innocent children into a world where they may have abnormalities causes problems such as money needed to be spent to help the child feel both normal and fine (this is not a problem until they ‘do it’ selfishly). People who get partners picked for them really should tell their parents NO if we think in terms of genetics, a child’s happiness and free will.

    I believe the gay marriage is cool though, absolutely nothing wrong with it imo, i’m more happy that people are happy and in love. If you love someone you love someone.

    How could any parent want to risk bringing a child into a world that has physical abnormalities/deformity or even learning difficulties etc? If everyone became incestuous tomorrow you can only imagine what would happen (hint).

  10. All righty, several things here. First, I am gay as I think you already know. Second, though I am not “religious” I am deeply spiritual and believe strongly in a lot of things that are outside of what people usually mean when they say “science.” I’d like to point out that “atheist”, while often used in a very broad way, means only one single specific thing: lack of belief in the existence of, or active disbelief in the existence of deities. There are “religions” that are technically atheistic, such as some forms of Buddhism. If you believe only in “science” and completely deny the possibility of anything spiritual or supernatural, you are an atheist but you are also more specifically a materialist or secularist. I am opposed to materialism because I believe the spiritual is the most important part of what we are. However, I find that many “atheists” etc are mainly just people who dislike organized religion (I have my issues with organized religion as well.) There are more options for belief systems than just “religious” and “atheist.”

    Many…both religious and non religious…use “sin” as a synonym for “morally wrong” or “evil.” I define “sin” as a thing that transgresses against the tenets of a specific religion. I believe in a certain type of morality, but my concept of morality is based not upon sin, but upon harm. And harm, often, is in the eye of the beholder, so there are many things that may be immoral in some cases and not in others. Homosexuality is a sin in the context of the theology of certain religions (and certain sub-categories of a few others) usually simply because “God said so.” However, homosexuality in itself does no more (nor any less) harm than heterosexuality and therefore is not, in my view, immoral. Actually, ironically and somewhat unfairly, homosexuality has, if anything, less potential for moral difficulties since in my opinion the biggest troubles to stem from sexual activity are children that don’t end up getting taken care of-a non-issue for homosexual behavior.

    Getting at last to your central point of cousin-marriage versus gay marriage…I do see your point. There is some actual harm that can come of cousin-marriage…sort of at least. However, in many places first cousins, at least, are not allowed to marry-due to the biologic difficulties involved-but usually second and beyond can. However, at second cousin and beyond the risks become much less. Also, even a single first-cousin marriage isn’t really, in the grand scheme, too big of a deal. When trouble really starts is when you have multiple generations of inbreeding, such as used to happen in noble families and such. That tends to lead to whole families with a particular issue, such as hemophilia or other genetic conditions.

    There is, of course, no real “logical” problems nor any objective harm to come from gay marriage. That being said, even as a gay person, I honestly at the end of the day don’t really care much about the gay marriage issue and I think a lot of folks on both sides spend a lot of time, money and energy on it that would better be spent on more important things. To me, “marriage” is a spiritual and/or emotional concept. My other half and I consider ourselves “married” regardless of the legalities. There are maybe a few small benefits to be accrued, on a civil level from legal “marriage” but I think most of those benefits will and already are becoming available to gay couples, marriage or no marriage. While I philosophical support the concept of equality, I think the gay community would be better served focusing its attention on, say, the plight of gay teenagers in the meatgrinder we call a school system than on what is largely a purely philosophical issue.

    Lastly, as to loving someone who does something you consider a sin or against your morality…in the case of Christianity (which is what all of this mostly hinges on) doing that is in fact supposed to be a main tenet of the religion. Now of course loving and supporting aren’t always the same thing. But really it depends on what form of a given religion you follow. Some Christians and members of other Abrahamic faiths choose to emphasize the loving and forgiving nature of God. Some choose to identify with his wrathful, judgemental side. In a more general sense, I think it depends on the person, and the extent of the issue. Even though I am totally opposed to materialism and non-belief (in something) I have friends that call themselves such. My “in-laws” are somewhat racist, but I don’t hate them…of course, they aren’t hardcore, hateful racists, they are just people who often parrot the things they grew up with. In the end, it’s about caring about a person despite their faults, and where the line is between someone who has a fault, and someone who is (nearly) all faults.

  11. It is legal to marry your cousin in Australia, but there is no provision for anything but a civil union if you are gay. Things that make you go hmmmm!!

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