NY State blesses ‘incest’ marriage between uncle, niece



Can anybody say they are surprised by this?


I can’t take this nonsense anymore. I am just looking forward to the second coming.


From what I read, it’s a half-uncle and a half-niece.

So, OP, close, but not quite. Not quite scandalous - on a technicality.


still, yuck, and cringe
this will just be the start. There’s already an effort repealing the polygamy laws.
(Washington Post article… (click thru))


When I was a very young child, approximately 50 years ago, a friend of my mother was pressured into marrying her uncle, her mother’s brother. They had to go to Mexico for the civil marriage, as the union was not allowed under canadian law at that time, I don’t know about now. The couple did receive a special dispensation from Rome and had a church wedding in Toronto. I remember my parents being totally disgusted by the whole affair, though my family did attend the wedding. The whole thing was discussed occasionally through the years. The age difference was 21 years.

The longer I live the more I believe that there rarely is “anything new under the sun.”

 My Grandparents had neighbours who were FIRST cousins and married.  This was many

many years ago. I am 72 years old and they were married when I was less than 10 years old.
As I recall, one of their 3 children was mentally retarded and the other 2 were fine. One became a Dentist and another a classicla pianist.
It is my understanding that by law, one cannot / should not marry a cousin unless it is 3rd or
beyond. Can anyone verify that? I know from my history lessons that it has been done. I will
remind all of you of Queen Victoria, who married Albert, who was her cousin and of course
we had FDR, who married his cousin. They were 3rd or beyond, but still cousins.
Nothing surprises me anymore, either. I live in New York State and it looks as tho we will
be known for more than just HIGH taxes. Peace and love, Alex


While I certainly don’t approve of this it should be pointed out that it wasn’t NY State who originally married this couple, they were actually married in Vietnam. So it’s not as simple as “those heathen New Yorkers approving of immorality”.

Also, as I recall, the Spanish branch of the Habsburg royal family eventually died out because they practiced cousin-cousin and uncle-niece marriages, and they were Catholic, and one of the reasons this happened is because they found the only suitable marriage partners to be other Catholic royalty and, post-Reformation, that marriage pool was very small. In order to do this, they must have obtained the necessary dispensations from the Catholic Church itself.

And of course polygamy has a LONG history in many societies. So I agree with Origen21 that there is “nothing new under the sun”. I certainly don’t find this a sign of the upcoming apocalypse or whatever, anymore than when the Habsburgs were marrying nieces to their uncles.


In reviewing an older Catechism from the late 1950s it shows impediments to marriage by varying degree and it does say that First cousins can get a dispensation which would be granted more easily than say Uncle/Aunt.


I can think of quite a few Irish families where first cousins are married to each other. Indeed ancient Irish law had far few restriction on such marriages than was the case after the Anglo-Normans arrived.

In Judaism cousin marriages have been quite common historically as for a variety of reasons they are in other semitic cultures. I noted on looking up some famous examples that the second signatory to the US declaration of independence Josiah Bartlett was married to his first cousin and the only Catholic to sign was married to his second cousin.


I think it is sick.:frowning:


JFK’s grandparents (forget on which side) were 1st cousins and had to get a dispensation. See Doris Kearns’s bio of him, I think it has a family tree.

As for the case at hand, there’s a huge yuck! factor that makes for clickbait but all the judges did was follow the language of the statute.


It is a long time tradition of the apostolic Churches that Mary and Joseph were first cousins.


I believe she is referring to the uncle and niece in the article mentioned by the op.


Indeed, indeed.


The uncle is half brother to the woman’s mother, so there is some disconnect.

Also, the uncle is 38 and the woman is 33. Not a big age difference and I doubt the woman growing up actually thought of him as an uncle.

I know a married couple who are first cousins who have been married over 40 years and have had four beautiful children together. Growing up, they never met each other until by chance in their adult life, they met, fell in love and got married.

Sometimes circumstances happen where such unions come about.



Absolutely, as I said earlier I can think of several couples in my family who are cousins, that’s hardly surprising as before the last two generations my family lived in a rural area of Ireland with a fairly small populace and everyone was distantly or otherwise related to each other. As I pointed out it has long been a tradition that the Virgin and St Joseph were first cousins to each other.


I doubt Mary and Joseph were 1st cousins. In their day, this was especially watched carefully, for inbreeding would be a greater problem in the small villages the came from.

Also two Gospels give the genealogy of Joseph and Mary, and neither are from the same families blood line, other than being of the house of David.



It’s only a tradition of course and purely speculative but see the following:-



Interesting except that newadvent is a 1917 version of the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Later versions make no mention of Mary and Joseph being 1st cousins as described in the New Advent account of Heli.

But then, if this was the case, it could explain why Joseph and Mary never had sexual relations before or after the birth of Jesus ?



Cousin marriages are not actually historically that uncommon amongst semitic cultures - a greater reason for them not engaging in sex would be Joseph would be entering in where God had dwelt as Mary is of course the ark of the new covenant.

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