Question: Why is marrying your cousin illegal?

In many states, it is illegal for first cousins to get married. The objections are ostensibly based on the risk of genetic problems. If an individual inherits only one recessive allele of the gene, the individual is considered a carrier who can pass on the illness to their offspring.

Current position. Several states of the United States prohibit cousin marriage. As of February 2014, 24 U.S. states prohibit marriages between first cousins, 19 U.S. states allow marriages between first cousins, and seven U.S. states allow only some marriages between first cousins.

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