• First cousins want Utah to change marriage laws, go to Colorado to tie knot

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Two first cousins, denied the opportunity to get married in Utah because of a state law, drove to an undisclosed site in Colorado to tie the knot Monday, KTVX reported.

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    Angie Lee’s father is the oldest of 12 children, while Michael Lee’s mother is the fifth child in the same family, the television station reported. According to Utah’s state law, marriages between first cousins are considered incestuous and therefore illegal, unless both are older than 65 -- or, if both are older than 55 and either person is infertile.

    Angie and Michael Lee said Utah’s law is out of date.

    “We said, ‘OK, this is crazy, but we’re adults now. We’re single now. We’re just going to go for it, and who cares what our family thinks,'” Angie Lee told KTVX.

    Michael Lee said the couple wants to get Utah’s law overturned. 

    "We would like to have enough exposure to where we can go into a congressman or senator, someone with political clout and present a case sound enough to get the law changed," he told KTVX.

    The biggest hurdle to first-cousin marriages is genetics. In 2013, researchers at Columbia University in New York City found that first cousins share 12.5 percent of their grandparents’ DNA, while second cousins share only 3 percent.

    The Lees started a petition to gain support for changing the law.

    Angie and Michael Lee said they have loved each other since they were children. 

    "No one I've ever been with will make me feel as perfect as she does,” Michael Lee told KTVX. “Her being my cousin and some of the responses is a small price to pay."

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