Apparently, Uncle Sam prefers inbreeding to gay marriage.
I ran across this poster on BuzzFeed this morning:
19 U.S. states allow residents restriction-free access to marrying a first cousin and starting a large, genetically limited family. Meanwhile, only five U.S. states currently allow citizens to marry someone of the same sex.
I know what you’re thinking: what’s wrong with cousin marriage?
I had a crush on my second cousin Randy who I still think was pretty good-looking for a 12 year-old. I never confessed my love though. He lived 2,000 miles away, which may as well have been from here to the moon at that age, and it didn’t help that he was the family’s black sheep, drug-smoking and car-stealing by age 14.
But the real deal-breaker came in 6th grade Social Studies when I learned about the Spanish Monarchy. Apparently, Charles II sprung from 150 years of incestual propagation (his mother was his father’s niece). He wound up with an estimated I.Q. of 70, and reportedly he was so physically challenged that he couldn’t sit up, walk or eat without assistance.
Cousin-love, once practiced rampantly among Europe’s Royal families to preserve royal blood lines, was actually found to do the opposite—muck up royal blood lines, creating a likelihood for recessive, “bad” genes to surface down the line. Many famous people have done it— Einstein married his cousin, which I didn’t know about until now, as did Jerry Lee Lewis and Darwin, in a particularly ironic move. But now in most parts of America, cousin-marrying is pretty taboo.
Somehow, however, based on state law it’s still not as taboo as gay marriage, which doesn’t lead to future generation birth-defects and is thus a no-brainer.
This does make me think about the term “freedom of marriage,” though. Should loving cousins who can’t have children be prohibited from tying the knot? A few states, including Arizona and Maine, make that stipulation. And what about cousins who agree to not have children and adopt instead? If adult, consenting, genetically-similar lovers who have agreed to not make babies want to marry, should U.S. law really stand between them?
I really don’t know. But for now, I think a special shout out should go to Vermont and Massachusetts— the only two states in the nation that allow gay cousin marriage. It may sound funky, but it’s nice to know there are two states that really don’t give a shit who you walk down the aisle with.