On Fox News Sunday, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, compared same-sex marriage to interfamily relationships. Again. Perkins spends a lot of time on cable news programs, spewing his misinformation and hate, but this time he may have done some damage. Not to the LGBT community; to Chris Christie. During his comparison, Perkins referenced an article in New York Magazine, about a woman who wants to marry her biological father. Setting aside the incredible “ish” factor, the state in which Dad and Daughter want to call home has no laws prohibiting marriage between adults who are immediately related. That state is New Jersey.
New Jersey is governed by none other than Super Catholic Chris Christie, who is opposed to same-sex marriage. In 2013, his administration filed a brief, defending the 2006 Civil Union Act, which gives same-sex couples “all the benefits of marriage yet bars them from actually getting married.” Unfortunately for New Jersey conservatives, same-sex marriage became legal in October of that same year. Adult interfamily sexual relationships, however, have always been legal. Of all the brother/sister, father/daughter, etc. couples in all of the U.S. (God, I hope there aren’t a lot), Tony Perkins chose the one headed to New Jersey.
Political analysts have mused that Chris Christie’s lack of fight against his state’s legalization of same-sex marriage might hurt him if he decides to run for president. I think the fact that family members over the age of 18 can get married in New Jersey might hurt more. Given how often the right-wing compares interfamily sexual relationships to gay marriage, they obviously think that they’re really, really bad.
The piece in New York Magazine begins by explaining something called “Genetic Sexual Attraction:”
In the late ’80s, the founder of a support group for adopted children who had recently reconnected with their biological relatives coined the term “Genetic Sexual Attraction” (GSA) to describe the intense romantic and sexual feelings that she observed occurring in many of these reunions. According to an article in The Guardian, experts estimate that these taboo feelings occur in about 50 percent of cases where estranged relatives are reunited as adults (GSA’s discoverer had herself become attracted to the son she’d adopted out when she met him 26 years later, but her feelings were not reciprocated).
According to the article, consensual physical relationships between fathers and daughters is “the least reported and perhaps the most taboo sort of GSA relationship.” Which is why the 18-year-old girl interviewed by New York Magazine and her father/fiancé are moving to New Jersey. They also want to have children. I can’t…just here, from the article:
Q-So would you have kids together, or would you adopt?
A-We’ll have kids together.
Q-Do you ever call him Dad?
A-When I need my dad I say, “Hey, Dad, I need you.” And then he’s not going to be my fiancé or my boyfriend, but my father.
Chris Christie, who opposes marriage equality and abortion, seemingly has no problem at all with an 18-year-old girl marrying her father and having children with him. As The Nation pointed out last year, Christie is a pretty conservative guy, highlighted by his defunding of Planned Parenthood, his vetoing of funds for clinics that provide pap smears, mammograms, and other health screening for women, and his opposition to marriage equality.
But it gets worse for Governor Christie, as shown in this Mother Jones map of the legality of human-on-animal relations. And guess what? Totally legal in New Jersey. Also Texas and Florida. Last year, Alabama finally outlawed this, but not Jersey. Abortions are bad, doing you-know-what with a horse is fine. Other states where it’s perfectly legal to get your freak on with livestock are Hawaii, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. There’s a joke in there somewhere about DC.
To recap: you can have relations with the state animal of New Jersey (the horse), and marry your own parent, but the state’s governor has a problem with gay people tying the knot.
This article is not about an 18-year-old girl who thinks marrying her own father is okay. This piece is highlighting actual, tangible, in-your-face hypocrisy. A conservative politician who has gone on the record against marriage equality governs a state where adult interfamily sexual relationships are legal, as are Rick Santorum’s weird fascination with acts involving man’s best friend. The two horrible things conservatives use to insult, demean, and attack gay marriage. Will Rick Santorum mention New Jersey the next time he prattles on about man-on-pet relations? Will Tony Perkins, the next time he appears on MSNBC or Fox, choose a different false equivalence? Will anyone give a rat’s butt that Chris Christie opposes gay marriage, but accepts defiling horses and adult interfamily sexual relationships in his state?
Probably not. Because they won’t hear about it on Fox.