A pair of first-cousins who fell head-over-heels in love traveled hundreds of miles from Utah to Colorado to get married. Michael Lee and his close relative Angie Lee traveled from their home in Eagle Mountain, Utah to Colorado tie the knot on Monday.
Their home state only allows cousins over the age of 65 to get married, but makes an exception for couples aged 55 if they can prove they are infertile.
Those rules are aimed at limiting the chances of children being born to first cousin parents with genetic abnormalities.
First cousins share 12.5 per cent of their DNA, making them up to twice as likely to have a disabled child as a man and woman who aren’t closely related.
Michael and Angie finally got together last winter after 10 years apart, and say they are no longer worried about disapproval from their families.
Angie told ABC4: ‘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.’
They are now petitioning for Utah to change its ‘antiquated’ laws so that other first-cousin couples can tie the knot. Those same rules mean their marriage is not considered valid in Utah.
Recalling how he first realized his love for Angie when they were kids, he said: ‘We were second grade.
‘I remembered I stopped her mother and said “I’m going to marry Angie.”
‘She said, “No, sorry you can’t, you can be friends.’
He added: ‘I’ve always felt that life wasn’t fair.
Why did the person I wanted to be with most, and who I had the most attraction to the most, the most natural feelings for, why’d you have to be my cousin?’
He continued: ‘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.’