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'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' stars believe in incest, not pre-marital sex

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Season One of TLC’s reality series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” closes up shop Sunday, after dropping a bombshell last week.

West Virginia couple Annie and Josh, engaged to be married, revealed they are cousins. A relative then chimed in that the family “believes in incest.” In fact, the family expressed frustration not that the couple were blood relatives, but that they were living together pre-marriage. 

In gypsy culture, apparently, incest is acceptable but “living in sin” is frowned upon.

“(Outside the gypsy community) people think its incest and we’re disgusting, but I don’t mind,” Annie told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “If I was going to live a life based on what people say about me, I would just stay in the house.”

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Another featured gypsy, Nettie, said that everyone is treated with the same level of respect, regardless of whether they are in a relationship with a relative or not.

“Some marry cousins, we don’t treat them differently. They are family and we love them,” she said. “We would never treat them badly.”

The show’s stars add that they also embrace traditional values and distinct gender roles.

“We don’t believe in sleeping with men before we are married,” Annie explained. “The woman’s role in a gypsy family is to stay home, take care of kids, clean, get your nails done, and take care of duties at home. The kids, especially the girls, are learning to clean the house and parents are very strict on them. Growing up I was not allowed to stay at friends’ houses even when I was 15 or 16 years old, I was not allowed to go to parties or have a boyfriend or do anything. I just cleaned the house.”

Nettie continued that the “normal age for a girl to get married is between 16 and 18,” and that females are allowed fewer freedoms than their male counterparts.

“It is just the way we were brought up,” she insisted. “A girl has more at risk with her reputation than a boy does. A girl has to go a little further than a guy to protect her reputation. A girl is to be looked at as a decent young girl, where a boy can do whatever and nobody is going to look at him in a bad way.”

In the finale episode this week, Nettie and her husband J.R., who eloped as teenagers, are attempting to make it up to their somewhat disgruntled family 14 years a later, with J.R. buying his wife the biggest wedding dress in West Virginia.

The season finale of “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” airs on Sunday, June 17 at 10/9c on TLC.

Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.

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