Our latest question for Ray Buckley & Kathy Sullivan (NH Dem party Chair and former Chair) relates to the case of David Epstein, who conducted a consensual, three year, sexual relationship with his own daughter, starting when she was 21 years old. (I'll toss this one out to those of our more libertarian and socially liberal independent friends as well).
Question: If consensual sex (without coercion) between any two adults is a protected right, (gay sex is defended on these grounds) does the state have a right to prohibit sex between adult relatives, regardless of how closely related?
The pat answer (beyond the infamous ick factor) is that the risk of genetic mutation is too great. Children of close relatives are more likely to be born with more or more severe mental or physical defects, or so the story goes. We should not risk future generations to these kinds of physical and mental burdens (as if these folks had never heard of government run education.) The best course is to simply prohibit contact, and that has more or less been the statutory position in the US.
But hey, you can't help who you are attracted too, right? So what about abortion?
The acceptance of abortion as a solution to unwanted pregnancy (by all classes of the socially liberal) make this genetic defense difficult to sustain with a straight face. Life is already viewed by these folks as a potential mutation to be removed when the risk is no greater than an inconvenience to the mother. If relatives want to have sex, there is no need to fear an unwanted pregnancy on those grounds. If the birth control fails, just abort it? Or is that too much responsibility for government to allow?
In New Hampshire, democrats, and some people elected as Republicans, already supported this solution. The removal of parental notification laws to extend abortion rights to minors, without consent of a parent or guardian, always came with the risk of hiding acts of incest or rape, so this "solution" should not challenge their morality in the least.
Many of these more socially liberal folks are quite comfortable quantifying abortion by the number of weeks in the womb as if a pregnancy in the first two trimesters would never see the third, and then survive to see daylight, if left to its own devices. Removing it prior to any defined marker is simply arbitrary so if life is arbitrary there can be no moral conflict. Of course, life at conception creates human beings who have actual rights whether they want to admit it or not because conception leads to taxpayers if selfishness and technology do not step up to intercede with support from Rube Goldbergian morality puzzles.
But the puzzles are there, as are the semi-moral hi-jinks you get when people want sex to be more about pleasure than responsibility. But abortion removes that responsibility so pregnancy resulting from incest, which is already almost universally accepted as justification for abortion, removes that objection to it. So then, why do we still object?
Not every country objects, and that is the crux of David Epstein's defense. That and civil support for gay sex.
So what about gay incest? Democrats and the socially liberal should ask themselves about that as well. If you can't control to whom you are attracted, what about consensual sex between a father and son? How or why is that situation different if there is a moral objection to a father having sex with his own adult daughter? Wouldn't it be sexist to be offended by heterosexual incest and not homosexual incest?
And while we are at it, why is there a prohibition on age? What right does the state have to limit pleasure to anyone willing and able to engage in it? We know that parents have no say when New Hampshire democrats are pulling the levers of power. So what prevents them from admitting publicly that they have no moral objections to underage sex with whomever they are attracted to, or whomever is attracted to them?
Are democrats prepared to answer any of these questions? If there needs to be restrictions, age, relationship, then the next question has to be on what grounds, and if any of them are moral then the question of gay sex and gay marriage as a right are equally suspect.
I encourage a debate on the matter, and not just because it will piss off progressives. I do not believe the left capable of reconciling all these questions under their umbrella of rights and equality. Human rights are universal. We all get them or none of us do. When you start creating carve outs for political reasons you begin to create contradictions. I think this presents a big one. Which of course would mean that sex based on attraction is not a right, it is a privilege-which we know to be true because sex against our will is still crime if either party does not consent, regardless of attraction. But what about incest?
Are democrats the party of incest? And how will they defend themselves if they are not? Inquiring minds want to know.