An embarrassing fact about United States marriage laws. Powerful point made here.

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Comment by Morgan Matthew on June 23, 2011 at 10:54pm
Comment by Tyson Jackson on June 28, 2011 at 5:56pm
It's so wrong!!
Comment by Mike on July 3, 2011 at 7:37pm
first cousins are a distant relationship and there's nothing wrong with them getting married. I believe that both gay marriage and marriage between cousins should be legal in all 50 states. If you think that marriage between two cousins who are in love is wrong, you're no different than anyone who thinks gay marriage is wrong.
Comment by matt.clerke on July 4, 2011 at 10:40pm
Mike(or anyone else) what exactly do you define as a first cousin? I thought it was the child of one of your parents siblings? If that is the case then the children from a first cousin pairing will have fewer genetic grandparents than would be expected. I think this is the reason it is outlawed in most parts of the world(that I know of). On the other hand, it isn't really any of the governments business and should certainly be legal unless it can be proved to be significantly unhealthy to the participants.
Comment by Scotty Mack on July 4, 2011 at 11:04pm
I was appalled when I moved back to FL and re-registered to vote for 2008 elections and on the ballot was a state constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage! Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, and John Adams would be appalled to have to experience this type of bigotry. SO much for equal rights!!!! It only applies to one's own's self interests! It is a sad state of affairs in FL as well as the rest of the fundamentalist US. When are the over 16% of the secular part of the US going to unite and make a difference in the electoral process in this country?
Comment by Rob Todd on September 27, 2011 at 6:44pm

The abhorrence of first cousin marrying each other is really a more of a cultural thing. For example there wasn't any cultural abhorrence that I can think of with Einstein marrying his first cousin. I mean, it's not like siblings are marrying each other in today america, or at least none that i know of. However in the cultural context of america, you do make a good point.

Comment by matt.clerke on September 27, 2011 at 7:24pm

Rob, I think the main problem is that it limits the number of genetic ancestors which the child has. For example, if a child is born between first cousins, it has 2 parents, 4 grandparents(two of which are siblings) and only 6 great grandparents(normal would be 8). In the majority of cases this will not cause any problems, particularly if the 6 grandparents are all not related to each other at all. Unfortunately, if cousin-marriage is allowed, there is nothing to stop each and every generation doing the same... leading to the kind of genetic risks which these laws aim to avoid.


Correct me if I am wrong here, I am a software engineer with no formal training in genetics or biology.

Comment by RJ on September 27, 2011 at 7:36pm

I personally think relationships shouldn't be regulated one way or another.  If adults of sound mind want to form a union with one another, regardless of gender, race, familial relation, or number of individuals involved, they should be allowed.  If some wacko from a church says "You're banned from coming here!  You evil filthy heathens!"  then who cares?  Ignore them and continue being miserable like everyone else who - Oh wait, I mean happy.  Happy.

Comment by Rob Todd on September 27, 2011 at 7:42pm

Well, that is kind of a slippery slope argument. Saying that allowing cousins to mary could cause many cousins to marry in the family. It could happen in isolated communities, but the pickings are usually slim to begin with there anyway. From I understand it's more of a cultural thing in America to try to not marry anyone with a known relation to one's own family anyway, so the mass inbreeding would be very unlikely. I'm not geneticist either, although I am taking biology courses in college now related to genetics, but I can't really tell you how much genetic diversity there must be in a community to avoid the risk of shallowing of the gene pool anyway. Beside my position is that it's not my fucking business who marries whom anyway, be that they are siblings, gays, strait, interspecies, polygamist, and so on ad infinitum. 

Comment by Kairan Nierde on September 30, 2011 at 3:26am

All I could think was, "ah, this modern age we live in..."


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