Parent and child couple trying to overturn New York's anti-incest laws, arguing it 'diminishes their humanity'

Aside from both being adults, little is known about the couple - including their genders. Photo credit: Getty

A parent and child have reportedly asked a New York court permission to be married, claiming it would "diminish their humanity" if they couldn't. 

The unusual request was filed by the older of the pair earlier this month, the New York Post reports.

Aside from both being adults, little is known about the couple - including their genders. 

"The proposed spouses are adults," the filing reportedly said. "The proposed spouses are biological parent and child. The proposed spouses are unable to procreate together."

They argue being unable to procreate shouldn't prevent them from aspiring "to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning", and the present law banning incestuous marriage is unconstituational.

"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."

Incest is a felony, with New York law prohibiting marriage or sexual conduct with anyone who's knowingly an "ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or the half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece". 

In this case it would be a third-degree felony punishable by up to four years (second- and first-degree felonies are reserved for cases of rape). 

The marriage would also be voided. 

New York family law expert Eric Wrubel told the Post the couple's request is "never gonna fly".

"The closest you can come is Woody Allen, and that wasn’t his daughter, it was an adopted child whom he never adopted and it still turns people's stomachs."

The couple's lawyer didn't respond to requests for comment. 

Children born of incestuous relationships are more likely to have birth defects, with closely related people more likely to both be carrying recessive genes for congenital defects and genetic diseases. The closer the relationship, the higher the risk.