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Maryland Delegate Wants To Ban First Cousins From Getting Married

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A delegate from Montgomery County wants to ban marriages between first cousins in Maryland. Delegate Henry Heller of Silver Spring says he wants to bring Maryland "into the enlightened world of other states such as West Virginia and Arkansas" that already prohibit marriages of first cousins.

He adds when first cousins marry they are "playing genetic roulette" because of the increased odds of having a child with birth defects. His bill would allow those over 65 to marry a first cousin, as well as those who are unable to reproduce.

Twenty-four states prohibit marriage between first cousins.

Matt Bush reports...

WAMU 88.5

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