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North Carolina Truth: you can marry your Cousin in Charlotte but not your Partner in Pinehurst

After North Carolina voters turned out to reject equal rights for gay and lesbian couples this week, I thought this report from Politicol was just too outrageous to be true:

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriage but You Can Marry Your First Cousin

In an outrageous attempt to regulate religious views, the state of North Carolina banned gay marriage in their constitution, a document many of the voters have never read.

The law basically bans all unions, marriages or relationships unless it is one man and one women, of the sexes. This means, common-law-marriages between a man and a woman is not recognized either.

The kicker is that you can marry your first cousin in North Carolina, so inbreeding is totally legal.

I thought this had to be a joke, you know, a Southern stereotype kind of thing. Surely a state that goes about banning harmless same-sex marriages can’t be promoting inbreeding, which actually does hurt children.

But no, it’s no joke: marriage between cousins is legal in North Carolina. The National Conference of State Legislatures has researched the issue and found that North Carolina lets cousins marry. Preventing harm to North Carolinians’ tender sensibilities is apparently more important than preventing birth defects.

Welcome to North Carolina, where you can marry your cousin... unless you're gay

8 thoughts on “North Carolina Truth: you can marry your Cousin in Charlotte but not your Partner in Pinehurst”

  1. Jim Cook says:

    For a broader view, check out Mother Jones, which has a map of same-sex marriage rights in the United States and a corresponding map of which states allow cousins to marry. The South does not come out well.

  2. Bill says:

    OK, OK fellers…enough with the geographic trash-talkin’ already. The issue isn’t “the South is dumb.” The issue is homophobia….which knows no bounds.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      This isn’t about people in the South, Bill. It’s about the policies of the South. Which, yes, are actually pretty dumb.

      1. Bill says:

        I hear ya, but the issue is homophobia…an evil which, like every evil, loves a distraction.

      2. Jim Cook says:

        No, the issue is policy. People can be homophobic all they like in their hearts and not discriminate through policy. This is a discriminatory policy.

  3. Richard Winger says:

    If two unrelated fertile people marry each other, and they are of opposite sexes, and they have children, there is a 1% chance that the first child will have a birth defect. If the two who marry are first cousins, the chance that the first child will have a birth defect rises to 2%.

    1. gotitbad says:

      The first cousin laws were made before genetics were understood. Unrelated couples over 35 in excellent health have the same risk as a fist cousin which is statistically nothing. The laws in the states that ban 1 st cousin marriages are still in the dark ages. Einstein was the son of a first cousin couple who married his second cousin. 1st cousins share 12.5% dna. This article was obviously researched.

      1. gotitbad says:

        Correction: not researched.

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