Is It Legal to Marry Your First Cousin in Canada
The prevalence of marriage between first-degree cousins in Western countries has declined since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   In the Middle East and South Asia, marriage between cousins is still strongly preferred.    The Qur`an does not say that marriages between first cousins are prohibited. In Surah An-Nisa (4:22-24), Allah mentions women who are forbidden to marry: To quote the Qur`an: “. You are all allowed beyond those mentioned, so that you can seek them with your wealth in an honest marriage… In Surah Al-Ahzab (33:50), Robin Bennett, a researcher at the University of Washington, stated that great hostility toward married cousins constitutes discrimination. Marriages between cousins have genetic aspects that have an increased chance of sharing genes for recessive traits. The percentage of inbreeding between two individuals decreases by four times because the youngest common ancestor goes back a generation. First-degree cousins have four times as many blood ties as second-degree cousins, while first-degree cousins have half the blood ties of first-degree cousins. Double first cousins have twice as many as first cousins and are just as closely related as half-siblings. Marriage between cousins was legal in ancient Rome from the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) until it was banned in the West by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 381, and in the East after the death of Justinian (565), but the proportion of such marriages is unclear. Anthropologist Jack Goody said that cousin marriage was a typical pattern in Rome, based on the marriage of four children of Emperor Constantine to their first cousins, and the writings of Plutarch and Livy that emphasize the prohibition of cousin marriage at the beginning of the Republic.  Professors Brent Shaw and Richard Saller, however, counter in their more comprehensive treatment that marriages between cousins were never habitual or preferential in the Western Empire: for example, in a set of six stemmata (genealogies) of Roman aristocrats in the two centuries following Octavian, out of 33 marriages, none had been between first cousins or second cousins. Such marriages carried no social stigma at the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire.
They cite the example of Cicero, who attacked Mark Antony not for the marriage of the cousin, but for Antony`s divorce. If cultural respect is your principle, how far do you take it? According to the study, some African, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures prefer marriages “between an uncle and a niece.” Should we respect these cultures by allowing these marriages? The question isn`t just hypothetical: Minnesota law has a grandfather clause that allows uncle-niece marriages if “established customs of Native American cultures permit.” And what about people of Jewish or Christian tradition who stigmatize marriage between cousins? Should their genetic counsellors reflect this stigma? In many Middle Eastern countries, marriage to the daughter of the father`s brother (FBD) is considered ideal, although this type does not always outperform other types.  One anthropologist, Ladislav Holý, argues that it is important to distinguish between the ideal of FBD marriage and marriage as it is actually practiced, which always includes other types of cousins and unrelated spouses. Holý cites the Berti in Sudan, who consider FBD to be the closest relative of a man outside the forbidden zone. If there is more than one relationship between spouses, as is often the result of successive generations of cousins` marriages, only the patrilineal relationship is counted. Marriage within the lineage is preferred to marriage outside the line, even if no exact genealogical relationship is known. Out of 277 first marriages, only 84 took place between couples who could not prove a genealogical relationship between them. Among these, in 64, the spouses were of the same descendants. However, out of 85 marriages with a second or third wife, the spouses were of different descent in 60.   The Marri have a very limited set of incest prohibitions that apply only to direct relatives, sisters and aunts other than the wife of the mother`s brother. Female members of the mother`s line are only considered vaguely related.
Finally, the Baggara Arabs prefer first the MBD marriage, followed by the marriage between crossed cousins if the crossed cousin is a member of the same surah, a group of agnates five or six generations deep. Then comes marriage within Surra. Marriages between Marian cousins are not preferred. If you`re afraid of mandatory genetic testing and prefer to ban marriage in high-risk individuals, why not start with fertile women over 40? And what about ethnicity? Cousin couples compare laws against marriage between cousins to laws against interracial marriage. They understood it backwards. Sickle cell anemia is on the rise in blacks. Tay-Sachs works in the Jews. The best way to combat these diseases would be to ban inter-ethnic marriages. In the Far East, South Korea is particularly restrictive with marriage bans for third-degree cousins, with not all couples with the same surname and region of origin allowed to marry until 1997.  However, the increase in mortality and birth defects observed among British Pakistanis may have a different source than current inbreeding.