This talk about incest

Although the focus of Jamie Whyte’s comments about incest rapidly degenerated to his apparent advocacy for incestuous relationships and the open mocking of the very small minority of people who choose to enter incestuous relationships, the argument he was making was largely missed, that is,  whether the State should intervene in sexual or marital relationships between two consenting adults.

On The Ruminator website, Tim Batt asks a very provocative question, obviously to see how deep Whyte’s convictions are on freedom & liberty:

But what about incest – should the state intervene if adult siblings want to marry each other?

“Well personally, I don’t think they [the State] should. However, it’s a matter of almost no significance because it just doesn’t happen.”

Whyte then defended his comments in the NZH stating:

“I don’t think the state should intervene in consensual adult sex or marriage, but there are two very important elements here – consensual and adult”.

“I wonder who does believe the state should intervene in consensual adult acts?”

He said he was “very opposed” to incest.

“I find it very distasteful I don’t know why anybody would do it but it’s a question of principle about whether or not people ought to interfere with actions that do no harm to third parties just because they personally wouldn’t do it.”

The NZH have amended the previous article reporting that Whyte says:

“I regret the comments, mainly because I feel I let the party down,” he said.

Lets not beat around the bush, incest is morally repugnant to the vast majority of people. But do not forget that for many socially conservative types, homosexuality is also morally repugnant. Why do people feel justified in defending and actively seeking equality for consensual sexual and marital relationships between two consenting adults of the same-sex, but publicly ridicule a consensual adult relationship between two persons of the same biological family? I agree with Whyte, just because it’s not something we’d personally do, it doesn’t give us a right to ridicule those who do choose those relationships. Heterosexuals who support equality in LGBT relationships and who actively oppose bigoted statements against such relationships, should look at the arguments they use to justify one and vilify the other. I think the response has been largely vile from many (on the left) that attempt to marginalise a very small group of people who choose to enter incestuous relationships.

Arguments in favour of state intervention regarding incest, almost always revolve around the risk of sexual abuse. Whyte’s view on incest does not prevent criminal charges arising from sexual abuse. Where there is a lack of consent and/or where one (or both parties) are not ‘adults’, this abuse is already captured under the Crimes Act 1961. Many seem to conflate issues of rape, sexual assault and pedophilia with incest. It’s true that in many of those cases that incest occurs, but incest is not the violent act, it is the nature of the relationship between the two people. Moreover, he wasn’t even suggesting it become policy, he seemed to me to be addressing the principle behind why it ought not be illegal, rather than taking direct action to legalise it.

Whyte simply answered a question that to be fair, has not (as far as I know) been put to any other politician. In my opinion, he answered the question rationally, the way you’d probably expect from a Philosophy Professor.  However, rather than analysing the argument, it was a quick lurch into cousin f*king memes and conflating other sexual crimes with incest.

As a left identifying voter I hate that I feel compelled to defend Whyte’s comments.



  1. Same as when the left stomped all over Don Brash for favouring marijuana legalisation. Ha ha ha old guy must smoke weed. Never mind they set legalisation in NZ back a decade by proving that nobody can talk about it. I hate what party politics does to people.


    1. Unfortunately because Jamie’s an honest guy, he can be so easily ambushed by every such question, from this to p use. Just because one believes all drugs should be legalised because prohibition doesn’t work, and freedom can only rest on individual responsibility, doesn’t mean you’re advocating p use.

      What the haters are hating on this one, the Left particularly, is the concept of responsible adulthood free of the state (ie, the prison of each others minds).

      The one good thing is this will set a cat amongst the pigeons in ACT. I like Jamie, but believe ACT is still a stalwart of conservatism I’d have no interest in voting for.


  2. When you become the leader of a political party in a “democracy” you don’t have any personal views. Your job is to embody the views of that party.

    If Whyte doesn’t understand that he’s clearly the wrong man for the job.

    Again: Labour just appointed a terrorist to the leader’s office. What’s been in the news this week? That Whyte want’s to marry his sister. If Whyte didn’t want that to make the news, he shouldn’t have made those comments.


    1. Whyte said nothing of the sort. This is why Tories are as bad as the Left. Whyte clearly stated that he in no way advocates incest, the classical liberal point is simply that policing of incestuous relationships is not a role of the state, unless there is an initiation of force, thus non-consent, involved.

      We all see what we want to see, the wise ones then see through their prejudice or agenda to the truth.


  3. I don’t think the state has the right , I meet my sister when I was 19 and bibn’t find out untell we were married for 3years we were related, we just had our 16 anaverary we have 4 children all normal and honor roll students. Our home is full of love


Comments are closed.