The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

First Cousins, Then Who…Or What?

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Guest blog commentary by Nathan A. Cherry.

“It’s their business, not mine.” “It doesn’t affect me.” “What they do in private is none of my concern.” These and many more remarks are typical responses when asking people of their thoughts on the same-sex marriage issue. But are they true? A recent story by the Alliance Defense Fund shows exactly how this issue has serious implications for the definition of marriage in more ways than one.

The case in question is Ghassemi v. Ghassemi, two Iranian first cousins whose marriage is now in divorce court in Louisiana. But what at first sounds like backwoods banter or hillbilly humor is in fact no laughing matter.

Louisiana is one of 25 states that prohibit first cousins from marrying, technically. They are legally allowed to “cohabitate, have intimate relations and even produce children,” said the three judge panel of the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal, as reported in ADF’s October 19th article. Which, on a side note, if you allow people to live together, sleep together, and have kids together, why not allow them to marry? If it looks like a duck, walks like a ducks and quacks…perhaps that’s for another time and place.

The interesting thing about Louisiana is that it will recognize any marriage that is valid in the place where it is contracted as long as it does not violate strong public policy. This means that first cousins can go to one of the other 25 states in the U.S., get married, then move back to Louisiana and be legally recognized as married; amidst all the other first cousins just living together.

Here’s where this jumps from the sphere of slightly creepy to morally repugnant. With the law as stated in Louisiana, how long will it take for same-sex couples to marry in states such as Massachusetts and California, then move to Louisiana and demand to be recognized because of the current laws as stated? The Circuit Court panel stated as much when they concluded that foreign common law marriages, which are civil unions contracted without a ceremony, are recognized as legal in the state even though such marriages contracted within the state of Louisiana are completely null.

Here is where this road leads. First the union of first cousins married out of state is recognized. Then, due to political correctness and public outcry first cousins are permitted to marry. Pretty soon the path gets narrower and narrower until marriage between persons of the same-sex “married” out of state are recognized, and then those “married” in state will be recognized. Before long the redefinition of marriage will be complete when men want to marry motorcycles and women want to marry purses and shoes. Where exactly does it end? Who will dare tell a man he cannot have three or four wives? Who’s to say it is wrong for 1 woman and 3 men to “marry”? Where exactly does it end?

The state of Louisiana uses the Bible as one of its sources for defining marriage. That seems like a great place to start. In Scripture many relationships are outlawed that were at one time allowed, including marriage between siblings, aunts and nephews, uncles and nieces and so on. Added to that list of unwise and prohibited relationships, of course, were ones engaging in homosexual behavior.

All these relationships were outlawed simply because they were not the way God originally created us to live, and they are not in our best interest. But now we are seeing legislators and politicians come along who would like to redefine marriage for all of us.

I can’t help but think that the One who created us “male and female” (Gen. 1:27) knows what is best for me and knows the best relationship for me. When marriage is redefined where will it stop? When a man wants to marry his horse, who will have the right to say no? It is dangerous and will only lead to tied up courts, broken lives, and greater crimes to start redefining something as sacred as the union of one man and one woman. This case in Louisiana has opened my eyes as to how easily it is to “interpret” the law and to then legislate from the bench.

We cannot take these matters lightly, and we cannot turn a blind eye to what is taking place in this country. Either we stand up for what we believe to be the true definition of marriage, or we suffer the consequences for further moral lapse. How long do we think God will restrain His judgment from this country for the moral decay that is so pervasive?  

Nathan A. Cherry holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary.  Nathan provides leadership in discipleship, culturally relevant teaching, and outreach as Associate of Ministry at Central Chapel in Hedgesville, West Virginia.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

October 23, 2008 at 2:04 pm

One Response

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  1. Great question you pose with your final words, Mr. Cherry. I am of the opinion that God already has made this judgment upon us. Why not? Seriously. Haven’t we earned it? There are people at this very moment calling themselves Christians and murdering people with Caeser’s blessing and stealing the property of people on a daily basis. They walk around calling themselves Christians. It should be a national joke. No, I’m not kidding. Would Christ endorse this criminal behaviour? I think not, Sir, but Caeser has and will.

    This homosexual movement is only part of the overall picture for which God should long ago passed judgment on us, and, as I have said it is my opinion that this has already happened. Take a look around.

    Your case is a good one. I most definitely am not saying your case is not valid. But you cannot work alone and you don’t and most likely won’t have enough support in this criminal country to carry your mission out successfully. This beef about the homosexual movement has been going on for more than the past two weeks. I’ve been watching it for years. The family has been under the hobnail boot of the state for a long time. They fear to open their eyes.

    joe rorke

    October 28, 2008 at 6:02 pm


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