As states grapple with limitations on same sex marriage, polygamy, and other moral legislation controversies, scientists may have introduced another areas of potential challenge: the ban on first cousins. The premise for barring first cousins was always based on rather shaky science. Now, scientists are challenging any medical or public policy basis for the prohibition — raising constitutional questions of why consenting adults can be barred from such marriages.
These studies may raise more interesting legal questions than medical questions.
Zoologists Hamish Spencer and Diane Paul are leading one such challenge to the medical and public policy assumptions behind the prohibition. Thirty-one states outlaw marriage between first cousins — making this country the most hostile to such marriages despite the fact that they are lawful in many countries. Most of these laws date back to legislation after the Civil War.
There is date on the impetus for these laws. In Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage, Kansas State University anthropologist Martin Ottenheimer argues that the bans were the result of now-discredited 19th century research on birth defects among children born to first cousins.
However, according to the National Society of Genetic Counselors, birth defects are only 2 to 3 percent more common in children born to first cousins than among the general population. That would not be enough to justify the ban — particularly given first cousin beyond the child bearing age.
Marriage is a protected area under the Constitution and the denial of such unions raises serious questions of equal protection, due process, and other constitutional rights.
For the Forbidden Relatives article, click here.
For the full story, click here.
24 thoughts on “Kissing Cousins: A New Question of Discrimination In the Wake of New Studies”
Well how you expected me to extrapolate that from your three 4 words “no meth for me” is beyond me. As was your play on words.
When you don’t say much to someone, seldom answer them, usually act as if they’re not in the room and then occasionally utter a blurb or two in their general direction, you might consider being a little more literal with those sparse words you choose to grace them with.
Because I honestly could never have made that stretch with what you said. Hell I’m still not making it.
What the hell is Christmas Crystal Eggnog? Try googling it. It’s obscure at best.
Oh well. Merry Christmas.
Christmas Crystal Eggnog = meth
Play on words.
Enjoy your family WB.
Face it Jill, there’s some people in here who are going to be assholes to me and theres nothing I can do about it but leave. My youngest niece right now is beating me over the head with a large stuffed animal for being in here.
My sister also thinks I’m stupid for blogging here after reading LEO’s and Sally’s insults to me. You can’t disagree in here with some people, nor can you start up a debate without personal attacks.
I may start listening to these youngsters here. They clearly are smarter than me.
Jill 1, December 24, 2008 at 8:06 pm
I’ll shut up after this, but I think FFLEO is joking. Many of the times you thought he was “punking” you, I didn’t take it that way at all. As to his jerry lee reference, FFLEO is a fan of the C & W, not pedephilia! So there’s my 2 cents, and in this economy, that’s negative 2 cents. But I’ll stay out of it from now on.”
Yea, real funny joke to call someone a meth user who invites them for egg nog.
Real funny stuff.
If you’re a dick.
My sister and two of my nieces just read what you said to me LEO.
They are collectively telling me as I type to inform you they also think you sound like a real dick.
I’ll shut up after this, but I think FFLEO is joking. Many of the times you thought he was “punking” you, I didn’t take it that way at all. As to his jerry lee reference, FFLEO is a fan of the C & W, not pedephilia! So there’s my 2 cents, and in this economy, that’s negative 2 cents. But I’ll stay out of it from now on.
Former Federal LEO 1, December 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm
‘Bro sayed: “Let’s have some Eggnog”
“No meth for me, ‘Bro”
So now your accusing me of being a meth user?
What a dick you must be.
Gyges, you are full of crap – egg ‘Nog’ has to do with the whole egg and nothing to do with beer as an additive but whiskey, rum, brandy,
Is “chicken beer” for real or is the product of the hallucinogenic mind? I bow to your beerness!
Charles Darwin married his first cousin too.
Beer fact: Eggnog was originally just beer with whipped egg-whites added. Another contemporary beer was called “Chicken beer” and involved throwing a plucked chicken carcass in the fermenting beer. I’m not sure which of these practices preceded the other.
‘Bro sayed: “Let’s have some Eggnog”
No meth for me, ‘Bro…
Ahh what the heck. Even to those who are playing the ignore wayne game, Merry Christmas to you too.
Let’s have some Eggnog.
Oh by the way, Merry Christmas to everyone not currently playing the “ignore Wayne” game.
And Merry ChristmaKwanzanukah too.
Yea freaking hilarious.
That was really funny! LOL funny!!!
Hey former LEO. Did you know that you seem to have a peculiar preoccupation with pedophilia? Then again most of you guys do. It’s how I think you guys rationalize your modern “war on the general population”.
Somehow though you never seem to focus on what you guys do to the 13 year old girls, or as in today’s recent example, the 12 year olds.
So I’m curious. What’s worse. Marrying them or beating them up?
Jerry Lee Lewis will be reissuing his “Great Balls of Fire” after hearing this news.
Now, if the okay-to-marry-age-limit is just lowered to include 13-year-old girls, then Jerry will be completely vindicated.
A real man ahead of his time….
Albert Einstein married his first cousin.
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