EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — A pair of first cousins from Utah drove to Colorado to get legally married, according to Salt Lake City’s KTVX.
Angie Lee’s father is the oldest of 12 children. Michael Lee’s mother is the fifth child in the same family. Angie and Michael got married in Colorado on Monday. Marriage between first cousins is forbidden in Utah unless both people are over 65 years old. If both people are over 55 years old, they can also marry if they can prove they are infertile.
“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 told KTVX.
If the couple has children, there is a much larger chance their kids will have a genetic disorder. KTVX reports that according to Columbia University researchers, first cousins share 12.5 percent of their DNA. If they have a child, there is a 4-7 percent chance the child will have a genetic disorder, compared to a 3-4 percent chance for a non-related couple.
Now, Angie and Michael are trying to change Utah’s law.
“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,” Michael told the Salt Lake City news station.
The couple started a petition gathering signatures from those who support them.
“No one I’ve ever been with will make me feel as perfect as she does. Her being my cousin and some of the responses is a small price to pay. I always loved you, Angie. You know that,” Michael told KTVX.
KTVX did not say where in Colorado Angie and Michael got married.