Jerame Davis

Kissing Cousins - As Long as They Are Straight

Filed By Jerame Davis | December 30, 2009 1:12 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
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I always knew there was something special about living in Indiana. I never knew it was that we are so backwards that we allow first cousins to marry - but only if they're of opposite sex, of course. We don't want none of that stinkin' marriage equality stuff 'round these parts.

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What's sad here - since I was a kid, the joke has always been that you go to Kentucky to marry your cousin. Usually, there's a grain of truth in jokes; I wonder when Kentucky changed their law. More importantly, I wonder if the Kentuckians are making jokes about US now...

Isn't it nice to know that more states condone incest than same-sex love? What a country!


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Don't be so quick condemning marriage by first cousins -- that's a highly variable social norm. British Queen Victoria and her beloved Albert were first cousins. So were "William & Mary" of English monarchy fame.

It is interesting to note that the most rabidly anti-gay-marriage states of the South & West are also precisely the states where cousin-marriage is quite accepted!

Uh - look how fucked up the royal families are due to the generations of incest they practiced to "keep the bloodlines pure." I can't say the British Royal family is remotely role-model-worthy.

Regardless of being a "social norm" it's genetically counter-productive and the more it happens, the more likelihood of the manifestation of genetic diseases and undesirable recessive traits. And when you have generations of reinforced recessive traits due to inbreeding, even once you start marrying outside the family, it will take many generations to reduce the prevalence of those recessive and often undesirable traits because so many offspring will be putting them into the wider gene pool.

Second cousins are about the closest "relations" that should breed. That can still be risky, but the risks are much lower. I don't know the exact numbers, but I recall reading something like first cousins were something like 8-10 times more likely than the general population to produce offspring with a genetic defect while second cousins were only about 2-3 times more likely. Don't quote me on that, but it's a huge relative leap between first and second cousins.

But yes, I find it interesting on a number of levels. I wouldn't want to draw too many conclusions until I saw PREVALENCE of first cousin marriages in those states. Just because it's allowed doesn't mean it's actually happening a whole lot. For example, what would it say if there were more first cousin pairings in Massachusetts than Alabama?