By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 28 2014 6:00 AM ET
A candidate seeking the Republican nomination for a Wisconsin congressional seat is invoking the argument that marriage equality will lead to incest, saying siblings will try to marry each other if bans on same-sex marriage are lifted.
“We’ve got, for instance, two sisters, and these two sisters want to get married. They love each other. They are committed to each other. They want to spend the rest of their life together,” said Karen Mueller, who is running in the Republican primary in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, at a meet-the-candidates event Tuesday night in the town of Tomah, reports The Tomah Journal.
Mueller, who is an attorney, said the lawyers for such a couple could argue against laws prohibiting incestuous relationships by citing the repeal of sodomy bans. “Once you do away with that, you reveal what is really going on here,” she said.
She also contended that preventing same-sex couples from marrying is not discriminatory. “They can get married,” she said. “They just can’t get married to each other.”
Mueller and the two other Republican candidates all objected to the recent federal court ruling striking down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage; the ruling is on appeal. Mueller and Ken Van Doren both asserted that the movement for marriage equality is about financial benefits, not love and commitment. Disconnecting health insurance and retirement benefits from employment “will eliminate the incentive for the gays to get married,” Van Doren said.
The third candidate, Tony Kurtz, said he believed the court overreached in voiding the marriage ban, but added that he supports civil unions, which Wisconsin makes available to same-sex couples.
The winner of the Republican primary, to be held August 12, will be up against incumbent Democrat Ron Kind in the general election November 4. Kind announced his support for marriage equality last year. He had a rating of 95 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his positions on LGBT issues in the 112th Congress, 2011-2013.