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Maps: States That Allow Gay Marriage vs. States That Allow First Cousin Marriage

by David Badash on October 5, 2011

in Civil Rights,Discrimination,Marriage

Post image for Maps: States That Allow Gay Marriage vs. States That Allow First Cousin Marriage

In America, there are more states in which you can marry your first cousin than states in which you can marry the love of your life — if that first cousin is of the opposite sex but that love of your life is of the same sex. Same-sex marriage is illegal — not just not possible, but specifically outlawed, sometimes via a constitutional amendment, in 31 states, and legal only in six states, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, along with the District of Columbia.

But marriage between first cousins — despite the aspects of incest and potential for genetic risk — is legally condoned far more than same-sex marriage.

In December of 2009 The New Civil Rights Movement published this graphic, “States That Allow Same-Sex Marriage Vs. States That Allow Marriage Between First Cousins.” It quickly became one of our top posts of all time.

Last year, Mediaite published the graphic below, which compares states that allow same-sex marriage to states you can marry your cousin in, as well as the minimum age required to get married, by state, and states with constitutional bans on marriage.

Several bloggers posted the above infographic today. Being a New York resident, I’d like to remind everyone that these maps are a year old, and therefore have several inaccuracies, including that they do not include New York as offering same-sex marriage equality. It does, and next year my fiancé and I will be taking advantage of that fact.

Below is a more up-to-date infographic of states in the U.S. that allow same-sex marriage, followed by states in the U.S. that allow cousin marriage.

States in the U.S. that allow same-sex marriage:

States in the U.S. that allow marriage between first cousins:


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{ 1 comment }

Jim Hlavac November 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm

These "bans" against gay marriage are more bans against the recognition by government of such unions — weirdly, none of these states actually bans a gay couple from saying "we're married." Nor do they prevent any clergy from officiating at such a commitment or "marriage" ceremony from calling it a "marriage." These laws don't stop people from considering themselves married — they merely prohibit the state from recognizing such marriages or according them any validity in family law — even though they still clearly exist for they are not banned at all to the actual participants — only to the state's admission that such things exist. In a sense, they ban the recognition of reality.

Even stranger, all the states that ban the state from recognizing gay couples as "married" under family law well recognize all such legal efforts to create a gay couple using commercial law. For instance, if a gay couple bought a house, they could form an LLC or partnership and buy it together; the by-laws of this company might have provisions exactly like a family-law marriage, e.g. "All things purchased by the company belong to both partners 50-50." This union would be completely legally recognized by the state, enforceable in court as to the dissolution of the legal partnership which would be the "divorce" and the adjudication of the property within the union — and with effect nearly exactly what a recognized marriage couple would receive under family law. automatically — joint home ownership and rights in a divorce. So these states and people "against" gay marriage are merely fooling themselves to a great degree — for they already recognize legal unions between gay couples — under commercial law, not family law. Strange, eh?

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