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Howard Deanís Incest Vote
National Review ^ | 7/21/04 | NRO Staff

Posted on 07/21/2004 12:24:58 PM PDT by AubreyRight

Howard Dean — for all intents and purposes — exited the Democratic primaries with his famous scream. But it would have been the voters who'd screamed had they known about a vote buried in Dean's lefty Vermont past — in favor of incest. Yes, in favor of incest.

The Kerry campaign is even now considering what prominence to give Dean at next week's convention. Dean, of course, has an intense following among the Democratic base, but he runs counter to the careful image of political and social moderation Kerry is attempting to project with all his might. How counter? Consider his incest vote.

In 1983, a Vermont legislator named Elizabeth Edwards introduced a bill to allow a 65-year-old woman to marry her 86-year-old maternal uncle, despite incest laws banning the match. Edwards, a Republican (only in Vermont, kids!), figured that incest laws were primarily about preventing defective offspring, and her neighbors Ramona Crane and Harold Forbes were too old to bear children. "They're a super-neat couple who don't have any money, and they just have each other, and I think they should be able to get married if they want to," Edwards told United Press International for a February 23, 1983, story.

The bill passed the state House 73-67 with Howard Dean, who was elected to the legislature in 1982, voting for the exemption from the incest laws. The bill went on to the Senate, where it met a firm rebuke. A Senate committee voted 5-0 not to take up the measure. The committee's chairman, Republican Allen Avery, explained, "It's setting a bad precedent. Once you do it for the Forbeses, you have to do it for others. There certainly is not any support among members of the Senate to deal with it."

In short, Dean was on the left-most fringe of this question even in liberal Vermont.

The couple in question went to Canada to get married by a Universalist minister, but Canadian officials — even they were more conservative than Dean — quickly explained that their laws also prevented the union. "If it isn't legal anywhere, what good is it?" Ramona complained.

Well, it would have been legal in Vermont had Howard Dean gotten his way. That's just one data point the Kerry campaign will doubtless want to consider in its calculations about what role to give the controversial former Democratic governor next week.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Vermont
KEYWORDS: convention; dean; dnc; incest; incestvote; marriage; sexualorientation

1 posted on 07/21/2004 12:25:02 PM PDT by AubreyRight
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To: AubreyRight
"They're a super-neat couple"

I can't believe these words came out of a grown woman's mouth. That sounds like something a starry-eyed 13 year old would say about Jessica Simpson and Nick...Simpson.

2 posted on 07/21/2004 12:29:26 PM PDT by ICX (This tagline was inadvertently removed from the National Archives.)
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To: AubreyRight

Give it time. The Democrats will soon acclaim "incest" and "adult-child love" the next phase in civil rights. This was 20 years ago and look how far we've already come.


3 posted on 07/21/2004 12:30:02 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: AubreyRight
Well, once gay marriage is rammed through, how can they say no?
4 posted on 07/21/2004 12:30:21 PM PDT by atomicpossum (I give up! Entropy, you win!)
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To: AubreyRight
The committee's chairman, Republican Allen Avery, explained, "It's setting a bad precedent. Once you do it for the Forbeses, you have to do it for others..."

That was the explanation 21 years ago. How prescient! Why don't people get it today? What ever happened to Avery? Was he the last Shallow North politician to have functioning synapses?

5 posted on 07/21/2004 12:34:41 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Just because I don't think like you doesn't mean I don't think for myself)
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To: AubreyRight

One of the two should have had a sex-change operation and then everything would be hunky-dory!


6 posted on 07/21/2004 12:37:18 PM PDT by fishtank
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To: AubreyRight

"I'd like you to meet my wife and my niece."


"Sah-Loot!"


7 posted on 07/21/2004 12:38:57 PM PDT by RexBeach (Before God makes you greedy, he makes you stupid.)
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To: ICX
"They're a super-neat couple"...I can't believe these words came out of a grown woman's mouth. That sounds like something a starry-eyed 13 year old would say about Jessica Simpson and Nick...Simpson.

I am in my fourth decade of existence, and I say "they're a super-neat couple" just looking at Jessica Simpson alone. ; )

8 posted on 07/21/2004 12:39:04 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Just because I don't think like you doesn't mean I don't think for myself)
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To: AubreyRight
"...a Vermont legislator named Elizabeth Edwards..."

Isn't that John's wife?

9 posted on 07/21/2004 12:41:25 PM PDT by TommyDale ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." --Hillary Clinton)
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To: AubreyRight

The principle established in the Texas sodomy case is that there is no state interest in sodomy. I ask, what would be the state interest in this union of a non-fecund heterosexual couple? Indeed, what is the interest of the state in marriage?

Is the state interest, as the majority in the Massachusetts supreme court gay marriage decision says, the benefits involved, i.e., is this an equal rights issue? Or, is the state interest, as the minority in that decision says, that from a union of (a presumed fecund) heterosexuals there can come children?

If the state interest is the children, then - it might be argued by social conservatives - certain restrictions might be placed on personal liberty in order to uphold the institution of marriage.

Libertarian conservatives, on the other hand, would simply argue that marriage be reserved for unions of heterosexual couples. Concern for equal rights and for privacy would then warrant a review of all the benefits - and penalities - that have been piled onto marriage, and of the behaviors involving consenting adults that have been made illegal.


10 posted on 07/21/2004 12:43:03 PM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: atomicpossum
Are you honestly equating gay marriage and incest?

And, for future reference, the success rate for heterosexual marriage is only 50%. I think it's safe to say that men and women (and reality marriage TV shows) have managed to ruin the sanctity of marriage all by themselves.

I'm very much a straight male, but I think gay marriages should be given a shot. They may find a way to better the bond that was once about love, not sexual preference.
11 posted on 07/21/2004 1:00:58 PM PDT by xtremdelt (www.right-wingattackmachine.com)
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To: xtremdelt

Welcome to FReeRepublic.


12 posted on 07/21/2004 1:03:28 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I'm going on vacation in 9 days...)
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To: xtremdelt
I support gay marriage, and I support the gay marriage amendment.

If, that is, the effect of the amendment is to prevent the establishment of gay marriage by judicial fiat, and puts it back in the legislature where it belongs.

I truly believe that if we recognize first civil unions, state by state, and then after we've had time to realize that the hysteria regarding the terrible consequences have been proven to be false, to go on to recognize gay marriage, one state after another, each learning from the previous, and the citizens learning from the experience in other states, etc., we'll find that gay marriage is not all that big a deal.

Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of aspects of the gay "culture" I find problematic. Public exhibitionism I find objectionable, outside of fairly narrow venues. Infidelity is destructive to any relationship. Wanton promiscuity is a danger to public health.

But the gays who are trying to get married are in general those who are trying to build solid, long-term relationships. Those who have the least to do with the behaviors I find unacceptable.

On the other hand, I'm convinced that a judicial imposition of gay marriage would be a disaster. It will end any possibility of real dialog, and polarize and divide.

Look at Roe v. Wade - I'm not the only person here who believes that a woman should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy, in the first trimester at least, who thinks that Roe v. Wade is bad law.

If we'd done the state-by-state legislative process, I think we would have reached a consensus on abortion. I think we'll reach one on gay marriage, if the courts alllow the process a chance to work.

And I believe that that consensus will be, eventually, pretty close to universal recognition of gay marriage.

And if I'm wrong, if gay marriage does turn out to be as destructive as some people claim, the consensus will be very different than I expect, and that's fine. That's exactly why we do things the way we do. I'd prefer to have a failed experiment tried in one state than in fifty.

13 posted on 07/21/2004 1:25:37 PM PDT by jdege
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To: AubreyRight

Note the name "Forbes" also happens to be (what a coincidence!) John effin' Kerry's middle name.


14 posted on 07/21/2004 1:27:32 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: xtremdelt
Are you honestly equating gay marriage and incest?

I am honestly equating the arguments being used to push both into law (with little or no legislative input, arguments which also ultimately must extend to polygamy).

15 posted on 07/21/2004 1:38:09 PM PDT by atomicpossum (I give up! Entropy, you win!)
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To: L.N. Smithee

I don't know what happened to those legislators (except Dean, obviously), but it is interesting how similar the arguments are.


16 posted on 07/21/2004 1:40:15 PM PDT by AubreyRight
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To: ICX
I can't believe these words came out of a grown woman's mouth. That sounds like something a starry-eyed 13 year old would say about Jessica Simpson and Nick...Simpson.

"Lachey," though one might be tempted to conclude it might as well be "Simpson." :)

17 posted on 07/21/2004 2:27:44 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: L.N. Smithee
I am in my fourth decade of existence, and I say "they're a super-neat couple" just looking at Jessica Simpson alone. ; )

You owe me a keyboard!

ROFL...

18 posted on 07/21/2004 2:34:06 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: xtremdelt

No disrespect, but I disagree with your assesment of 'love and bonding' with homos.

My brother was gay. He died of AIDS. After him and his "so called" life time partner cheated on each other. This couple lived together and considered themselves married for 7 years - and the whole time each of them sought out partner after partner outside their "arrangement."

It's not about love and bonding. Gays already exhibit devient behavior as gays...why would that change if they were married? Ever view the gay pride parades...? Do you REALLY know what gays are about?

My brother told me - not some gay guy I don't know - my brother! said that gays are all about one thing SEX! SEX with men, boys are preferred, and more men. It's kind of like fat people hung up on food - gays are hung up on sex.

According to my brother, and brother-in-law who is dying of AIDS - homos are only looking to marriage as a way to legitimize - normalize what they do! Some of them even want to marry so that they can legitimately adopt boy children to have sex with.

I wish all the lying about this subject would stop and for people to find out - for real - what gays do and why they want to shove this abnormal BEHAVIOR on 93% of the heterosexuals in this country!

Please, just send all the gays to co-habitate on an island somewhere and be done with them! They won't be able to pass their so-called non-existant gay gene on (which absolutely makes no logical sense), and they won't be able to TEACH (which makes more sense) their devient behavior to anyone else.



19 posted on 07/21/2004 2:37:01 PM PDT by kjenerette (Jenerette for Senate - www.jenerette.com)
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To: xtremdelt
I'm very much a straight male, but I think gay marriages should be given a shot. They may find a way to better the bond that was once about love, not sexual preference.

Or not.

Marriage was already in trouble in Scandinavia, but same-sex "marriage" licenses destroyed it completely. It's just one more symbolic cheapening of the institution (like no-fault divorce laws, for example). Moreover, many would argue that "homosexuality" is NOT to "heterosexuality" as, say, "black" is to "white."

That "experimentation" with partners is apparently on the rise among young women is just one of many indications that the sudden "gay subculture" is little more than a fad. That homosexuals live extremely unhealthy lives--mentally and physically--even in places where homosexuality is tolerated far more than it is in the United States (like New Zealand) is just one indicator that true sexual attraction to individuals of the same sex is the result of something gone wrong in the individual in question. Even if someone shows it to be completely genetic (which no one has shown effectively), it is important to remember that undesirable traits can be inhereted, as well.

20 posted on 07/21/2004 2:37:47 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: kjenerette
Please, just send all the gays to co-habitate on an island somewhere and be done with them!

Yesterday, my brother talked about sending all homosexuals to a "penal camp." I warned him that that might not be such a hot idea, as someone could easily make a really bad pun on that. :)

Actually, though, there's a story in Greek mythology/legend/history (?) about a bunch of women who got sick of men and so they went to the island of Lesbos to make their own second-wave feminist-type paradise. (That's where we get the word, "lesbian.") Unable to breed, the colony died out.

21 posted on 07/21/2004 2:42:15 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: L.N. Smithee
I am in my fourth decade of existence, and I say "they're a super-neat couple" just looking at Jessica Simpson alone. ; )

That's for sure. :)

22 posted on 07/21/2004 2:43:13 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: AubreyRight

I read recently about a state (I don't remember which) that actually has an exception to its incest laws if the couple is unable to reproduce (they are presumed to be unable to reproduce if the woman is over a certain age, and may provide evidence of sterility if the woman is below that age). Apparently the state legislature, much like Howard Dean, believed that incest laws exist only to avoid diseases that may be suffered by the product of incestuous relationships, and not because for thousands of years Western civilization has considered such relationships to be immoral. In any event, a gay couple sued, saying that if a brother and sister can marry if they prove they can't procreate, it was discriminatory to deny a marriage license to two members of the same sex, who obviously can't procreate. The courts threw out the suit, but I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few years incestuous relationships are legitimized and raised to the level of constitutional rights due to the gay-marriage precedents.

We absolutely need a federal marriage amendment to stop judges from destroying the institution of marriage.


23 posted on 07/21/2004 3:14:45 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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