A majority of jurisdictions in the United States severely limit or prohibit the right of first cousins to marry, cohabit, or have intercourse. Yet, unlike regulation of other relationships within close degrees of consanguinity, for instance between parents and children or siblings, these statutes are relatively recent additions to the marriage regulation landscape. These bans are unsupported by the commonly-cited concerns of harmful genetic or societal consequences. First cousin-marriages are, instead, popular and permitted in much of the world—as they once were in the United States. This Article demonstrates that the prohibitions against first-cousin marriages directly contravene right-to-marry jurisprudence and are unjustified state interferences born of discriminatory bias.
Cardozo Law Review de·novo
Frommer, Rachel, "The Unconstitutionality of State Bans on Marriage Between First Cousins" (2021). Cardozo Law Review de•novo. 83.