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No, the US Supreme Court did not allow a brother and sister to marry each other

A post shared on Facebook claims that the US Supreme Court has ruled that a brother and sister can now get married.

“In a 5-to-4 ruling, five judges unanimously granted the appeal by James Banes, 41, and Victoria Banes, 38, today after a ten-year-long battle,” the claim, which was also shared in Kenya, says in part.

It adds: “The overjoyed pair said they did it for the millions of Americans who have consensual incestuous relationships and are living in fear. The pair apparently lambasted the government for wasting taxpayers’ money fighting their court challenge.” 

The post includes two photos which purportedly show the couple in question. The duo is pictured raising clenched fists in victory while smiling in one photo and kissing in the other.

This post has sparked reactions from Kenya and beyond. But is this true? We checked.

Reverse image search reveals story unrelated to incest

A reverse image search on Yandex showed that the photos were taken on 27 June 2018 in London, UK, when the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled on heterosexual civil partnerships in that country.

The couple in question, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, are not siblings.

According to various news reports, Steinfield and Keidan went to a London register office in 2014 in an attempt to get into a civil partnership. 

The couples’ wish was not granted on the grounds that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 defines a civil partnership as ‘a relationship between two people of the same sex’ and declares two people who ‘are not of the same sex’ to be ineligible.

After their request was denied, Steinfeld and Keidan launched a court case and a fundraiser.

The Supreme Court ruled in the couple’s favour on 27 June 2018.

Siblings marrying story hoax

In August 2019 World News Daily Report published a satirical story about siblings marrying, but used the real photographs of Steinfeld and Keigan from June 2018 to illustrate it. 

The site is explicit about its stories being satirical or fictional, but this one has been shared across social media without the disclaimer.

Fact checking sites Snopes and Lead stories also checked this claim and found it to be satirical and fictional, respectively. – Dancan Bwire


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