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We have that "don't care" attitude on what others say or think about our relationship, but are curious anyway. Dear Jus' need advice from a 3rd party..., Negative reactions to cousins who pair off stem largely from the belief that children from such relationships may have physical and/or mental abnormalities.Newborns with genetic disorders such as spina bifida or cystic fibrosis are more likely to be born of blood relatives because previously unexpressed recessive genes are more likely to appear.Third cousins usually share a set of great-great-grandparents and one-eighth of the genetic pool.

Often, you have to change your opinions on related issues in order to honor that principle, or you have to throw out the principle and change your mind about the original question. You can't appeal to the Bible; in the Bible, God commands marriages between first cousins.Instead, advocates of laws against cousin marriage appeal to science.Banning Cousin Marriages While there have been instances of the banning of marriage between cousins at various points through history, such as the Roman Catholics banning the practice for a time starting with the Council of Agde in 506 AD, for the most part marriage among cousins has been popular as long as people have been getting married.In fact, it is estimated that as many as 80% of the marriages in human history have been between first or second cousins.The fuller prohibition has come partly from a desire to keep as far as possible away from something that is spoken of with such serious warning in scripture. As our society has become more numerous and diverse, it has become more repulsive to us to marry close to family. Cousins usually share a common set of grandparents (though it can be only one grandparent) and one-half of the genetic pool.

It has also become a joke to put down those who were considered to be from the sticks--that is, rural folks who did not know any better. Second cousins usually share a common set of great-grandparents and one-fourth of the genetic pool.

Now a study by the National Society of Genetic Counselors says that having a child with your first cousin raises the risk of a significant birth defect from about 3-to-4 percent to about 4-to-7 percent.

According to the authors, that difference isn't big enough to justify genetic testing of cousin couples, much less bans on cousin marriage.

Although never outlawed in England, during the second half of the 19 century, many states began to ban marriages between first cousins, as part of a larger movement after the Civil War for greater state involvement in a variety of areas, including education, health and safety.

Researchers note that the distinction in marriage bans between England and the U. may be explained by the fact that, in the United States, the practice “was associated not with the aristocracy and upper middle class [Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were second cousins] but with much easier targets: immigrants and the rural poor.” Regardless, cousin marriage bans began popping up across the states, with the first in Kansas (1858).

You can find out more about family law in your own state by contacting a legal services office, a law school that offers legal services to students and the public, or searching your state's homepage on the internet.