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March 11, 2007

They're Not Hurting Anyone, Why Should You Care?: German Couple Sues State To Overturn Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Incest

It's a family affair.

"Many people see it as a crime, but we've done nothing wrong," said Patrick, an unemployed locksmith.

"We are like normal lovers. We want to have a family. Our whole family broke apart when we were younger, and after that happened, Susan and I were brought closer together," he said.

Patrick, who is 30 years old, was adopted and, as a child, he lived in Potsdam.

He did not meet his mother and biological family until he was 23. He travelled to Leipzig with a friend in 2000, determined to make contact with his other relatives.

This law is out of date and it breaches the couple's civil rights
Lawyer Endrik Wilhelm
He met his sister Susan for the first time, and according to the couple, after their mother died, they fell in love.

"When I was younger, I didn't know that I had a brother. I met Patrick and I was so surprised," said Susan, who is 22.

She says she does not feel guilty about their relationship.

"I hope this law will be overturned," Susan said.

"I just want to live with my family, and be left alone by the authorities and by the courts," she went on, in a hardly audible voice.

The amateur leftist webzine Slate bullet-points the controversy nicely:

1) They were raised separately. 2) They met when he was 23 and she was 15; they began living together a year later. 3) They have four kids. One has epilepsy; two have "special needs"; three have been put in foster care. 4) The brother has served a two-year sentence for incest. 5) He recently got a vasectomy. Couple's arguments: 1) The law is outdated. 2) It violates our civil rights. 3) We're not hurting anyone, so just leave us alone. 4) The law lets couples with genetic risks (due to advanced age) or hereditary diseases have kids, so why not us? 5) If we live together and don't have more kids, how can the government prove we're having sex without becoming dangerously invasive?

It's nice the brother/husband finally got a vasectomy, but maybe he should have done so before siring (or, perhaps, "courting," as Max Blumethal might say) two "special needs" children and another one an epileptic.

To note the obvious, if one buys the arguments underlying gay marriage, then marriage is to be based primarily of considerations of romantic love, not a state interest in stable family creation and maintenance, and furthermore should not be limited due to "arbitrary" and "capricious" considerations often present in non-prohibited "normal' marriages, it follows that the couple should be left alone to their "love" which "doesn't affect anyone else."

Yeah, I know. Gay marriage advocates always find ways to differentiate other "capricious" and "arbitrary" restrictions on marriage by right of romantic love, because "studies" prove, say, polygamy is "bad for the children."

All arbitrary and capricious restrictions on marriage are fine, except for the one about the partners having different genders. That one -- and only that one -- is right out.

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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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