OTTAWA, February 24, 2005 ( – Liberal MP Charles Hubbard has warned that there is no logical reason for restrictions against incestuous marriages if same-sex marriage is permitted. 

Speaking in the House of Commons Monday, Hubbard questioned Parliamentary Secretary for the Justice Ministry, Paul Macklin, on the continued restrictions against genetically related persons in marriage law. 

Macklin replied that restrictions on marriage concerned “consanguinity and who could marry whom” the rationale for which is based on “health reasons.” 

Macklin explained, “Looking back at some of the history involving royalty, it was demonstrated that when they intermarried it was unhealthy to have that inbred nature thrust upon society.”

Macklin concluded, “It is clear that there are solid scientific and genetic reasons why one would not simply disregard the relationships of one to another, why we have done investigations in the past, and why we have a table of consanguinity relating to who can marry whom.” 

With that answer in hand, Hubbard went to the press after the debate in the Commons, saying “Why couldn’t I marry my brother?” He explained, “Those provisions in the Criminal Code are based upon the offspring of that relationship. With this new [same-sex] relationship, there’s no [natural] offspring, so how can we discriminate against families?” 

The Parliamentary exchange between Hubbard and Macklin is online here.


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