CLARKSBURG (WBOY) — No. At least, not in West Virginia, but there are states where it is legal to marry a first cousin.
West Virginia prohibits this in §48-2-302 of the West Virginia State Code. The article states that: “A man is prohibited from marrying his mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, half sister, aunt, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, first cousin or double cousin. A woman is prohibited from marrying her father, grandfather, brother, son, grandson, half brother, uncle, brother’s son, sister’s son, first cousin or double cousin.”
In West Virginia, it is legal to marry your second cousin—your parents’ cousin’s child.
So what about other states who aren’t quite bothered by the idea of you marrying a close-blood relative? The following is a list of states where marrying your first cousin is legal, or at least not directly prohibited in their state codes.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
There are also several states where marrying your first cousin is legal, but only if individuals are unable to reproduce or are a member of certain cultures or religions.
Even in some states, such as Maine, where it is not directly prohibited, the state may refuse to give marriage licenses to people who are related closely by blood.