Love Is Love. Terms and Conditions May Apply.
There is a curious paradox in our society concerning one of the most fundamental concepts of the human experience, love.
Who can define it? Who can tell you what love is and is not, or how it should be for the many billions of people who do or will experience it?
In the United States today, a social and legal war is raging over what rights two (or more) people in love have, as well as how those rights are decided. Should religious canon dictate our laws? Our forefathers founded this country based on the notion of separation of Church and State, but as we can so plainly see in the gay marriage debate, that separation is still being fought for 240 years later.
Even a year removed from Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, dissenters across the nation refute that the LGBT community is equal to their heterosexual counterparts. Following horrifying attacks against the gay community, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, the refrain “Love is love” has been plastered on banners, sidewalks, and social media accounts everywhere you look: But do they mean what they say, or is there hypocrisy even among those who most support ‘equality’?
Recently arrested for incest, this mother-son couple maintains that they are madly in love, and their defense of Genetic Sexual Attraction may change the way you look at romance.
The slippery slope is real.
A History of Incest
Among the most prominent and fixed of social taboos, incest, or sexual activity between family members, has long been regarded as socially unacceptable in most cultures around the world.
Though differing in severity based on the closeness of the relation (i.e., father-daughter vs. first cousins), incest has been condemned since ancient times, even by some of the very societies that practiced it. It has been well-documented that many royal families, such as the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, often intermarried and procreated in order to keep bloodlines pure. Naturally, this led to inbreeding and genetic disorders, as well as our foremost bias against the practice. And while incest was also common in Ancient Greece, such as in the case of Spartan King Leonidas I, the fifth-century fable of Oedipus shows a predisposition against this type of relationship.
Royal families and noble houses in Medieval Europe also felt the adverse effects of intermarrying and inbreeding, most notably in the genetic defects of the Habsburgs.
In the United States today, incestuous relationships are illegal to different extents, though the definition and penalty vary greatly by state and district.
Incest in New Mexico
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In the state of New Mexico, forms of incest explicitly prohibited by law include “Persons known to be parents and children (including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree), brothers and sisters of half and whole blood, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews.” These relatives cannot lawfully wed or have sexual intercourse, or else they face up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Yet while we might inherently picture incest as some deliberate and perverted relation, that isn’t always the case. One such exception, more common than you might think, is now making headlines in Clovis, New Mexico.
36-year-old Monica Mares and her 19-year-old son Caleb Peterson are in love, reports the Daily Mail. Though arrested in February and charged with a fourth-degree felony when their relationship was discovered by police, the unlikely couple vows to fight the charges so that they can stay together. “It is every bit worth it,” Mares said. “If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him.”
But their love affair hasn’t been going on for long at all. In fact, although they’re mother and child, Monica and Caleb just met about a year ago. And they’re not alone in what many view as a twisted relationship.