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Constitutional Law

Constitution

University of Kentucky

1984

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Incest Statutes And The Fundamental Right Of Marriage: Is Oedipus Free To Marry?, Carolyn S. Bratt Jan 1984

Incest Statutes And The Fundamental Right Of Marriage: Is Oedipus Free To Marry?, Carolyn S. Bratt

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court has found that the right to marry is a constitutionally protected right. That right is restricted, however, by state incest statutes which impede marriage between adults by making some choices of a marriage partner illegal. The constitutional validity of modern state incest statutes is difficult to analyze because of shifting definitions, reflexive fears, ambivalent attitudes, and underlying facile generalizations.

The mere word "incest" triggers strong feelings of revulsion in most people. Therefore, any a priori labeling of a marriage as incestuous tends to preclude objective thought about the permissibility of the particular form of the ...