I can’t marry my girlfriend because we are from the same clan



I am from Uganda. I have lived with my girlfriend for 8 years, but it was only a few months back that I realized we belong to the same clan. I love my girlfriend because she has been there for me, but the problem is, I need a holy marriage. This last summer we had a baby girl, but she passed away. Neither of us knows what happened but we still have faith. We shall have other children. Honestly, I love her but I am still scared. The baby was my firstborn. I am scared of whether if it happened because we belong to the same clan. I am still in pain over my daughter but at the same time, I love my girlfriend.

Right now we have a lot of debts, which I can't manage. I have asked God to talk to me about this situation, but I hear nothing. What can I do?


I checked the laws in your country and found that back in 1990 there was a change in the laws that redefined what constitutes incest. Prior to the change in the law, having sex with someone of the clan (let alone marrying them) was illegal. Today, the law forbids sex between close relatives, including a sister-in-law, even if she is not of the same clan. [Lillian Ekirikubinza, "Same-clan marriages are perfectly alright," News Vision, 12 September 2006].

Even though the law changed, societal tradition has not changed as quickly. Therefore, traditionally the very fact that you are having sex with a woman who is in your same clan was a crime. Legally, it is no longer a crime. However, I note that for eight years you have been breaking tradition and no one seems to care.

Now you are claiming after living with this woman for eight years that you don't want to marry her. This only comes up because your first child mysteriously died. You wonder if the death of your daughter was due to a genetic problem because you are from the same clan, but this is merely speculation. Since you did not know that the woman you have been living with was a member of your clan, it would seem that the two of you are not closely related. The odds that the child died due to genetic issues are very small.

Your second excuse is that you are in too much debt to get married, but these debts are not stopping you from living with this woman nor are they stopping you from trying to have children together.

Therefore, what we have are two people who flagrantly violate God's law that requires a man and a woman to get married before having sex (Hebrews 13:4). They then think they can continue their sin because tradition frowns on two people of the same clan getting married, but as I pointed out, this is inconsistent. If you couldn't get married, then you could not be having sex according to that same tradition.

It doesn't matter if you can't have a traditional marriage. You can get married legally in Uganda with a civil wedding. God doesn't specify what kind of marriage you have, only that you must be married in order to have sex.

Sadly, your final excuse is that God isn't directly telling you what to do. Even if God chose to directly speak to people (which He said ended a long time ago (I Corinthians 13:8-10)), you are living in direct conflict with God's laws and then want God to tell you to obey His laws? He has already done so! "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). So when are you going to start listening to God?


Amen. I am ready to listen to Him now.

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