This article takes issue with some relevant transitions in the field of family law and puts to the test the underlying culture of rights and equality. It advances the hypothesis that behind the progressive accommodation of sexual rights, a more modest renegotiation is taking place about the boundaries that separate the normal from the abnormal. The article first examines a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights and brings out the ambiguities affecting its justificatory framework. It goes on by addressing the question of why state institutions are so at pains to regulate access to conjugal relationships and their inner life. It then shows that the state's control on the legitimate practices and dynamics of relatedness does not leave room for significant revisions of the basic tenets of Euro-American kinship. The text concludes by advancing the philosophical-political claim that a viable way to mitigate the exclusionary effects of the state's selective power is to make it visible and to allow for conflictual confrontations about it to take place.