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ABC News asks if incest between consenting adults is OK on Facebook; Slate says 'incest is cancer'

December 15, 2010 | 11:45 am


ABC News has taken to Facebook to ask its fans and viewers: "Should incest be permitted between consenting adults?"

The question is posed with a link to an ABC News story about Columbia University professor David Epstein, who was charged last week with having a three-year sexual relationship with his adult daughter.

The comments on the Facebook post mostly expressed disgust at the idea of incest, but a few also criticized ABC News' handling of the story.

"Where are ABC's journalistic standards?" Facebook user Albert McGilvray commented on the incest question. "Oh, wait, I'm sorry; this is social media.'"

Another commenter, Gary Wagner, wrote in a comment, "Too Much inbreedin' leads to the procreation of ABC [not] News executives."

The news website also asked its readers if incest is OK, on its website, in a headline reading "Incest Is Cancer, The David Epstein incest case: If homosexuality is OK, why is incest wrong?"

William Saletan, who wrote the Slate piece, offered his own opinion on the matter, describing incest as a "cancer of the family" before adding that "incest is wrong. There's a rational basis to forbid it. And we shouldn't be afraid to say so."

In the news story ABC News linked to on its Facebook page, ABC noted that lawmakers in Switzerland have proposed legalizing consensual sex between first-degree relatives, such as between parents and their adult children or siblings. Incest involving a minor would still be illegal under the proposed law change.

About 60% of people in Switzerland oppose the law change, ABC News reported.

The news of Epstein's incest allegations were previously reported by the Columbia Spectator, which said in its report that Epstein is 46 and his daughter is 24.

According to the Spectator, the affair was consensual, but the political science teacher has been arraigned on one count of third-degree incest.

Epstein's lawyer, Matthew Galluzzo, told ABC News that charges against the professor were still "only allegations" and have not been proven.

ABC News reported that Galluzzo also said, "It's OK for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home" and "how is this so different? We have to figure out why some behavior is tolerated and some is not."


Pastor to his church: Thou shall not Facebook -- couple using the Internet to help make crucial life decision

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of ABC News' Facebook fan page.