How’s this for a riveting soap opera plot?

A young mother in communist East Germany gives birth to a boy. Being unable to raise him, she gives him up for adoption. Seven years later, she has a baby girl and history repeats itself. The girl, too, is adopted. The boy grows up to be a young man – not very successful – and gets by doing odd jobs. At 22, he tracks down his birth mother and, through her, the younger sister he had never met. He falls in love with the young woman and they move in together. The couple now has four children. A bit too convoluted and surreal, you say, even for a television writer? Well, it’s happened in real life. The young man, now 29 and an unemployed locksmith, is named Patrick Stuebing; and lives in Germany. His sister is Susan Karolewski. They have been lovers for the past seven years and have four children together—two of whom are mentally and physically disabled and all of whom are now in care. Their mother, Ana Marie is mercifully deceased. She no doubt died regretting that her estranged son had ever found his way home. Despite the fact that 29-year-old Stuebing has already served two jail sentences for committing incest with his sister, now aged 22, the couple defiantly refuse to give each other up. The story of their twisted relationship emerged this week as the pair announced plans to take their case to Germany’s highest legal body, the constitutional court, in a bid to legalize their shocking union. What is tragic and astonishing is that they are doing so despite the fact that two of their children can barely walk or talk. Experts believe that such birth defects are caused by inbreeding. Perhaps not surprisingly, the case - that could have ramifications across Europe has become politicized. It is being presented, by liberal sympathizers, as a romantic battle against oppression. The young couple is sticking to their guns. They argue that they are being denied the right to sexual freedom. "We do not feel guilty about what’s happened between us," they said, in a statement. "We want the law which makes incest a crime to be abolished." To most people, this would seem an open and shut case. But because Germany’s laws on incest were introduced by the Nazis, they are an easy target for left wing groups, who can conveniently argue that they are nothing more than an extension of the Third Reich’s draconian insistence on Aryan purity. Such groups argue that the laws should be overturned in favor of freedom of choice and sexual determination. Or, as the couple’s lawyer, Endrik Wilhelm, puts it: "Everyone should be able to do what he wants as long as it doesn’t harm others." But many say the practice of incest does harm others. Children born as a result of incest are at an increased risk of developing severe mental and physical disabilities. Incest laws are seen as a deterrent and help prevent children being born with the disabilities that result from genetic defects and inbreeding. Back in Germany, the story has provoked moral and scientific outrage. I wonder how a similar scenario would play out in the USA. The Christian right would be morally outraged, of course and label it contrary to Biblical teachings. But what of the others, the more liberal? At a time when many feel that individual liberties are being infringed upon by the conservative Bush regime, would the couple find any supporters? Or is this where everyone, unanimously, would draw the line? Is it so fundamentally abhorrent that it cuts across ideologies? It bears thinking about.