Is it legal and morally acceptable to marry your cousin? The answer varies depending upon your definition of the word "cousin," your location, and your personal or cultural beliefs. There are many degrees and types of cousins. While first cousins are close relatives, second and third cousins are not. Here are a few definitions:. The chances are that you know and spend time with your first cousins. You may happen to know your second cousins.
Cousin marriage laws in the United States vary considerably from one state to another, ranging from cousin marriages being legal in some to being a criminal offense in others.
However, even in the states where it is legal, the practice is not widespread. Several states of the United States prohibit cousin marriage.
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Data on cousin marriage in the United States is sparse. It was estimated in that 0. While recent studies have cast serious doubt on whether cousin marriage is as dangerous as is popularly assumed, professors Diane B.
Paul and Hamish G. Spencer speculate that legal bans persist in part due to "the ease with which a handful of highly motivated activists-or even one individual-can be effective in the decentralized American system, especially when feelings do not run high on the other side of an issue.
When Cousins Marry (Genetic Disorder Documentary) - Only Human
Cousin marriage was legal in all states before the Civil War. This led to a gradual shift in concern from affinal unions, like those between a man and his deceased wife's sister, to consanguineous unions. By the s, Lewis Henry Morgan - was writing about "the advantages of marriages between unrelated persons" and the necessity of avoiding "the evils of consanguine marriage", avoidance of which would "increase the vigor of the stock".
To many, Morgan included, cousin marriage, and more specifically parallel-cousin marriage was a remnant of a more primitive stage of human social organization.
Cousin marriage law in the United States
InMassachusetts Governor George N. Briggs appointed a commission to study mentally handicapped people termed " idiots " in the state. This study implicated cousin marriage as responsible for idiocy.
Within the next two decades, numerous reports e. Perhaps most important was the report of physician Samuel Merrifield Bemiss for the American Medical Associationwhich concluded cousin inbreeding does lead to the "physical and mental deprivation of the offspring".
Despite being contradicted by other studies like those of George Darwin and Alan Huth in England and Robert Newman in New York, the report's conclusions were widely accepted. These developments led to thirteen states and territories passing cousin marriage prohibitions by the s.
Though contemporaneous, the eugenics movement did not play much of a direct role in the bans.
Jul 23, Quick Tip: Your parent's first, second, and third cousins are also your first, second, and third cousins-but once removed. This is because your parents and their generation are 1 above yours. Likewise, your grandparents' first, second, and third cousins are also your first, second, and third cousins, this time twice removed. This pattern. 53 rows Data on cousin marriage in the United States is sparse. It was estimated in that . Oct 02, Hands up who thought about dating their cousin? In the UK it is legal to marry your cousin; in parts of West Africa there's a saying, "Cousins are made for cousins"; but in America it is banned or Author: Luisa Dillner.
George Louis Arner in considered the ban a clumsy and ineffective method of eugenics, which he thought would eventually be replaced by more refined techniques. By the s, the number of bans had doubled.
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws unanimously recommended in that all such laws should be repealed, but no state has dropped its prohibition. A bill to repeal the ban on first-cousin marriage in Minnesota was introduced by Phyllis Kahn inbut it died in committee.
Republican Minority Leader Marty Seifert criticized the bill in response, saying it would "turn us into a cold Arkansas". She reportedly got the idea after learning that cousin marriage is an acceptable form of marriage among some cultural groups that have a strong presence in Minnesota, namely the Hmong and Somali. In contrast, Maryland delegates Henry B.
Heller and Kumar P. Barve sponsored a bill to ban first-cousin marriages in Andrews Sr. Texas Representative Harvey Hilderbranwhose district includes the main FLDS compound, authored an amendment to a child protection statute to both discourage the FLDS from settling in Texas and to "prevent Texas from succumbing to the practices of taking child brides, incest, welfare abuse, and domestic violence". And when it happens you have a bad result. It's just not the accepted normal thing. However, this statute was amended in ; while sex with close adult family members including first cousins remains a felony, the more serious penalty now attaches to sex with an individual's direct ancestor or descendant.
Dating first cousins
The U. States have various laws regarding marriage between cousins and other close relatives, which involve factors including whether or not the parties to the marriage are half-cousins, double cousins, infertile, over 65, or whether it is a tradition prevalent in a native or ancestry culture, adoption status, in-law, whether or not genetic counselling is required, and whether it is permitted to marry a first cousin once removed.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Cousin marriage law in the United States by state. Wikimedia list article.
First-cousin marriage is legal. Allowed with requirements or exceptions. Banned with exceptions 1. Statute bans first-cousin marriage 1. Criminal offense 1.
Why marriage matters: America, equality, and gay people's right to marry. ShaddockArk. It found the marriage void per the usual rule.
Code Ann. Note that the laws listed do not pertain to cousin marriage. Mason, N. LEXIS OAG Retrieved 10 February With a clearer picture of the risks your offspring might face, a counselor can help you reach a decision that makes sense for you, your partner, and if you choose to go down that path, your children as well.
For more general information and studies on the effects of blood related unions, visit the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation web site.
You say you have a "don't care" attitude, but you are smart to ask about the risks - legal, moral, and medical. Additionally, while you may not care what society thinks, do you care what other members of your family think? You may want to consider discussion how your relationships affects them. All that said, it sounds as though you and your partner have found something special in each other. No one knows where your dating relationship will lead - but it's good to be aware as you explore your closeness and make choices.
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As you'll see, many states allow first cousin marriages only if there will be no offspring from those marriages. Others allow cousin marriages only in special circumstances. An adoptive cousin or a half-cousin may be allowed to marry. Alabama: First cousins, yes. Alaska: First cousins, yes. Arizona: First cousins, yes, only if they are over a Author: Sheri Stritof. I found out he liked me too and wanted to talk to me and after some months we were dating. At the end of this year I'll move to his city. This was my parents idea and has nothing to do with the fact I'm dating him or something. My dad don't even knows about it. Only my mom, my cousin's parents, his sister, and some other cousins knows about it. Legally, you can date and be intimate with your first cousin, but if you are considering marriage, laws vary by state and country. In the U.S., some states legally forbid first cousins from marrying, some require genetic counseling before legal union can take place, and other states require proof that at least one potential spouse is infertile.
Here are tales and tales of people loving and making love to their cousins. Not gonna lie, that last one actually kind of made me want to not think this whole thing is repulsive. I wasn't lying, you guys.
Having sex with your cousin is apparently a thing these days. Am I just being mean and judgy?