According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), it is legal to marry your cousin in the state of Florida as long as it is not a first cousin.
That said, in some parts of the world it is acceptable to marry your FIRST cousin. In the United States, however, marrying your first cousin is highly frowned upon.
In Florida as well as other states, when it comes to second or third cousins the laws become murky in some states.
Although in some places, including in some of our own United States, it is legal to marry someone who is your cousin, there is still the question of whether you should do it.
This is one of those gray areas that society has not yet learned to accept. In fact, some people think it is totally immoral.
Then there is the question of whether your religious culture will accept this.
Perhaps this is something that will change with time, but perhaps it will not ever be changed. Only time will tell for sure.
This is where Florida draws the line. It is definitely NOT legal to marry a sibling or other direct lineal relative. This includes a brother or a sister or a parent.
Other close relatives that may NOT marry are an aunt, an uncle, a niece, or a nephew. For that matter, anyone that even thinks about this has to be a little bit nuts.
In Alabama, it is not permitted to marry a parent, offspring, siblings, or any other direct relative.
However, there is a difference between Alabama laws and many other states when it comes to marrying a cousin.
In Alabama, first cousins are allowed to marry each other without any restrictions or recourse.
So then, naturally, it is also permitted to marry your second or third cousin. There may be other states or places in the world with similar laws.
It may be incredibly surprising to know that, in many foreign countries AND a majority of states within the US, it is legal to marry your first cousin.
Likewise, for second and third cousins. Once again though, even though it is legal, is it really a good idea?
Society as a whole most likely has not yet learned to accept this. As a result, the couple might find themselves ostracized in their community.
If you find yourself in love with your cousin, one thing you can do is move to Canada.
In Canada, such an action is not only legal but widely accepted by their society. It is so common that nobody dares to question it.
By living in Canada, a married couple who happen to be cousins do not have to worry about repercussions at all. They can live quite peacefully in their neighborhood.
There are choices if you want to marry your first cousin and remain in the United States.
Keep in mind though that you may well face backlash from others in your community. Be prepared to take a lot of guff. Here is that list:
- Arizona, BUT with stipulations
- Washington D.C.
- Illinois, but with conditions
- Indiana, with conditions
- Maine, but the couple must undergo thorough genetic counseling
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina, but there are exceptions
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Utah, but with conditions
- Wisconsin, but only if specific conditions are met
The thinking behind this is that it can result in catastrophic genetic conditions for the couple’s children.
The concept is considered to be a form of inbreeding and an overall bad idea. Other people simply find it repulsive. Are they right?
Again, it is all about the tolerance of other cultures. Nobody is right or wrong, just different.
Another given reason is that inbreeding leads to a couple having too many children.
Plus, more of these children survive and have happy and healthy lives. So, why is this bad? Keep reading.
It puts a strain on the local community and society in general.
When there are so many children to tend to, it is often the case that the couple cannot properly take care of them.
Then they become a burden to the surrounding community.
Of course, there are some folks that feel the main reason for the bias is pure jealousy.
People who frown upon inbreeding and couples having too many kids are those who cannot or do not want to have many children themselves. Envy becomes a big part of the equation.
For one thing, it can keep a family or segments of a population of people going.
When a couple only has one or two children, the odds are their family line will not be in existence after those generations have passed on.
From a practical standpoint, there are more people to share in chores or even raising the younger members of the family.
These families frequently contribute to their communities as well.
The local economy will typically thrive if there are a plethora of people, even from one family. How can this be a bad thing?
Although opinions on this may differ depending on whom you ask, in reality, the answer is a resounding no.
Just because another culture has alternative beliefs to yours does not make them immoral. There is nothing wrong with being different.
Diversity is what makes the world go around. People really need to be more open-minded instead of judgmental.
According to experts in the field, yes it can. There tend to be more abnormalities stemming from specific genetic traits.
These traits are prevalent in certain families, but with a traditional union (not marrying a relative), they remain dormant.
When a person marries a close family member, the recessive genes for these traits can surface. In such cases, these occurrences are not seen as a disease.
The first recordings of this happened back in the United States at the time of the Civil War. Initially, one or two states enacted such laws.
Then, more states followed suit with their own versions of prohibitive laws. As of our current times, in the 2020s, some states still restrict these actions.
Other states now allow it, although in several places there are conditions that have to be met.
What is normal in some cultures gets an adverse reaction from others.
People often fear someone who is different. That fear can even result in violent actions.
As the world moves forward in time, it is hoped that more folks will be accepting of alternative cultures. Will this ever happen? That still remains to be seen.