Friday, February 24, 2006

First Cousin Marriage

Yesterday, Ask Yahoo answered the question How Many States Allow A Resident to Marry a Cousin?. It turns out that you can marry your first cousin here in Massachusetts and in eighteen other states. The answer includes links to a number of helpful publications, including a summary of a study of the genetic consequences of allowing cousin marriage, and an article from Findlaw that explains that the prohibition is unusual worldwide. "Prohibitions on cousin marriage are unique to the United States. Most other countries permit first-cousin marriages without restriction, and the rate of cousin marriages in some countries is as high as 60 percent of all marriages. But that has always been the case, and being unique has rarely motivated Americans to change their ways. " More information on marriage laws is available at Mass. Law About Marriage.