Fact check: Did court allow New Jersey brother-sister to marry after 10-year-long legal battle?

Hundreds of social media users reacted with disgust

A report that claimed that a New Jersey brother and sister have won a legal fight in court that will now allow the two to get married has become a topic of debate on social media platforms.

The couple, it is reported, fought and won the case after a 10-year-long court battle. Hundreds of social media users reacted with disgust after the report claimed that the US Supreme Court had now permitted the siblings to get married.

Even as the infuriating post continues to create quite a racket on social media, we can confirm that the report is a complete hoax. The report, which contained all the material to cause a large public outcry claimed that "five judges unanimously granted the appeal by James Banes, 41, and Victoria Banes, 38, today after a ten-year-long battle."

Prince Harry places the wedding ring on the finger of Meghan Markle during their wedding service in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor

It contained even more inflaming text: "The overjoyed pair said they did it for the 'millions of Americans who have consensual incestuous relationships and who are living in fear' and blasted the Government for wasting taxpayers' money fighting their challenge."

Many readers found it even more shocking that the couple was planning on having a big family and the sister was already pregnant and was expecting twins.

Even as many social media users continue to break their heads over this fake report, everyone seems to have missed the fact that this hoax was generated on World News Daily Report.

And this is what the website introduces itself:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

So what is the truth?

What is even more shocking is the image of the couple used by the website. The two are actually from UK and were in the news after they won the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage.

A BBC report identified the couple as Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, from London and the viral image was taken after they won their legal bid back in June 2018.

Does New Jersey law actually allow incestuous marriage?

No. Incestuous marriage is still illegal even in New Jersey. Even though incest is criminalized between consenting adults in most states of the US, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are an exception. In these states, incest between consenting adults (16 or over for Rhode Island, 18 or over for New Jersey) is not a criminal offense.

This article was first published on December 1, 2019