MESA COUNTY, Colo. – Cousins from Utah crossed state lines into Colorado to get legally married Monday, station KCNC reported.
Michael Lee and Angie Lee, whose parents are siblings, were married in the Grand Junction area.
In Utah, it is illegal for first cousins to get married unless they are 65 years old, or 55 if they can prove they are infertile, KTVX reported. The legality of cousins marrying varies from state to state. Colorado allows it. Texas does not allow first cousins to marry in the state.
Michael and Angie Lee say they had a crush in second grade and family vacations would bring them together again, but social norms would draw them apart again.
“Life was unfair,” Michael Lee said. “Like, why did the person I want to be with the most and had the most attraction to -- the most natural feelings for. Why did you have to be my cousin?"
They reunited after 10 years this winter. Both were recently single, and both were ready to take the plunge.
"We're like OK this is crazy, but we're adults now, we're single now, we're just going to go for it and you know who cares what our family thinks," Angie Lee said.
They're crossing two big hurdles to get married. The most obvious is genetics. According to researchers at Columbia University, first cousins share 12.5 percent of their DNA.
First cousins who have children face a four to seven percent chance of their child having a genetic disorder, as opposed to a three to four percent chance for an average couple.
“The genetic consequences the biological content consequences are very small,” Michael Lee said. “It's more, you know what people might think and say."
The two were now working to change the law in Utah, petitioning for change.
“No one I've ever been with will make me feel as perfect as she does and her being my cousin and some of the responses is a small price to pay,” Michael Lee said. “I always loved you Angie. You know that.”