A New York parent who wishes to marry their own adult child filed a lawsuit to overturn the incestuous practice, saying the matter should be up to the “individual.”
“Through the enduring bond of marriage, two persons, whatever relationship they might otherwise have with one another, can find a greater level of expression, intimacy and spirituality,” the parent, who seeks to remain anonymous, argued in the Manhattan federal court claim filed April 1.
“The proposed spouses are adults,” the filing continued. “The proposed spouses are biological parent and child. The proposed spouses are unable to procreate together.”
According to New York law, incest is a third-degree felony with a penalty of up to four years in prison. Incestuous marriages are also considered void, and spouses are punished with a fine and up to six months in jail.
Marriage licenses in New York City require potential spouses to write down their birth parents and sign off saying there are “no legal impediments to the marriage,” according to the Office of the City Clerk’s marriage license page.
The parent is asking a federal judge to declare the incest laws unconstitutional and unenforceable in their case, which the lawsuit cites as falling under the category of “Parent and Adult Child Non-Procreationable” couples.
The case is Doe v. McSweeney, No. 1:21-cv-2806 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.