Can You Marry Your Cousin in Washington State?

Can You Marry Your Cousin in WA State?
Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash/Canva
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ARE PEOPLE STILL ACTUALLY MARRYING THEIR COUSINS?

Yes, people are actually marrying their cousins, even in this day and age in the year 2022. While the thought of that makes me gag as if I had just swallowed an old cup of coffee with mold in it, the thought of that doesn't begin to faze others. That leads me to ask this question, Can you marry your cousin in Washington state? Well, yes and no. What about other states in the Pacific Northwest? Where are people legally marrying their cousins in the United States?

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I grew up in The South, Tennessee, to be exact. Growing up, people around me always made a lot of jokes about persons marrying their cousins but I always thought that's because they were being goofy. Down there, it's like a running joke in those parts that cousins marry each other in Alabama and Tennessee. You may have even heard or joked about it yourself.

This morning, a coworker joked with me that I was trying to be like the Dukes of Hazard because I wore a dress to work and tied a flannel shirt over it, a la Daisy Duke. I chuckled at my coworker but then my morbid mind went to a dark place. First of all, I've always been a little suspicious of The Dukes of Hazard. It was one of my favorite childhood TV shows but between you and me, it seemed to me that Bo and Luke Duke sometimes stared a little too hard at their cousin when she bent over in those Daisy Dukes! Actually, everybody stared, I get it, she was hot! Ha!

THE KISSIN' COUSINS LAWS IN IDAHO

You CAN marry your cousin in Idaho, but ONLY if they are not your first cousin. Second cousins and beyond, Idaho says have at it, Hoss!

 

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TITLE 32: DOMESTIC RELATIONS
"All marriages between first cousins are prohibited." - Idaho State Law, Section 32-06, Chapter 2

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CAN YOU MARRY YOUR COUSIN IN OREGON?

You might want to sit down for this. In the state of Oregon, you can't marry your first cousin but if you want to hook up with them the law says, why not? They'll even let you shack up with your first cousin/lover.

CAN YOU MARRY YOUR COUSIN IN WASHINGTON STATE?

Um, you might want to sit down for this one, too. It is LEGAL to marry your cousin in Washington state as long as they are NOT your FIRST COUSIN. You also cannot legally marry your flesh and blood parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, nephew, or niece. You share too many like DNA strands with these family members and you put any children you may have at risk for birth defects. (Washington State Law, RCW 26.04.020)

WHAT STATE CAN YOU MARRY YOUR COUSIN? THERE ARE ACTUALLY 20 OF THEM!

If you are THAT in love with your first cousin and you say, "The heck with the law and the baby birth defect risks!", you can get married in the following states in the U.S. of A.:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Addendum: Several states who say you can't marry your first cousin have exceptions to the law. Typically, these exceptions are for people over a certain age (like age 50 in some states and over 65 in others).

I hope this has been informative and eye-opening. Cousin marriages are a lot more common than we think and it's not just a running joke in The South, it's apparently almost EVERYWHERE in the world!

KISSING COUSIN TRIVIA

DID YOU KNOW THAT: Rudy Guiliani, Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip, Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, Martin Van Buren, Marie Antoinette, Henry VIII and one of his wives Catherine of Aragon, and Edgar Allen Poe are some of the famous folk who married their second and third cousins?

Albert Einstein, Charles DarwinJesse James, Jerry Lee Lewis, and H.G. Wells  actually married their FIRST cousins!

From now on, I'm going to stop judging anybody for who they marry because honestly, guess what, it is NONE of my business! FACTS.💯

via GIPHY

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.

 

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