Author Topic: concerning the law in regards to first cousins marriage in OKla.  (Read 597 times)

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Offline Donney

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My cousin and I are wanting to get married, but live in the state of Oklahoma.  We are planning on getting married in Colorado in Nov.   I have read the law which states that cousins who are married in a state that recognizes first cousin marriages will be recognized in the state of Oklahoma as legal, although it is against the law in Oklahoma.    My son who is a police officer told me that even though the marriage will be recognized as legal, the law still stands as an offence and is a felony, and that my cousin and I could be arrested for incest which is considered a sexual offense and we will be registered in the state of Ok as sexual offenders.   Of course this is a huge concern for both of us. I am an elementary teacher and if arrested on these types of charges will certainly lose my job.   If anyone could help me on this matter it would greatly be appreciated.  Thank you.

Online KC

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Welcome to! I have met many school teachers over the years on this website. What is it with school teachers and cousin relationships?  :biggrin: The first one I met was dating her cousin, a cop.

As I'm sure you are aware, there is a difference in civil and criminal laws. It is my understanding that OK has no criminal laws against cousins. In other words, their law doesn't define cousins as illegal notwithstanding their prohibition against cousin marriage. The criminal portion would be spelled out under an incest law.

Of course, they could have changed their incest law yesterday. This was worded in their marriage law when I first researched state laws: "Provided, that any marriage of  first cousins performed in another state authorizing such marriages, which  is otherwise legal, is hereby recognized as valid and binding in this state  as of the date of such marriage." It is recorded on my state marriage law page,

Some of that information is around ten years old;. Why not speak with a local attorney? It would be worth a few hundred bucks to get to the bottom of the matter. Of course, you could do the work yourself online. You just need to look up the current civil marriage laws and the laws on incest. It would be cool if you could hire a paralegal online in your state to do the legwork. A Google search could get you hooked up.

Please let us know if you find out anything different.


Oh, I was looking around for the OK incest law. I found it here:

If the marriage law hasn't changed, your marriage would not be a criminal offense if married legally in another state. Your state law explicitly allows you to marry in another state and that is good news. Police officers can't simply arrest you for such a charge anyway. A cop would need the approval from the DA and a grand jury indictment, at least in my state, to arrest you. In your state, it doesn't appear to be a crime to be legally married to your cousin.

As always, talk to an attorney in your area. Never take legal advice from a bunch of crazed cousin lovers!  :biggrin: Administrator. For support, please post in the Tech Support section or PM me.

Offline ColoradoMarried

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Oklahoma statutes, Title 43, section 43-2 (Consanguinity):

Marriages between ancestors and descendants of any degree, of a stepfather with a stepdaughter, stepmother with stepson, between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, except in cases where such relationship is only by marriage, between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood, and first cousins are declared to be incestuous, illegal and void, and are expressly prohibited. Provided, that any marriage of first cousins performed in another state authorizing such marriages, which is otherwise legal, is hereby recognized as valid and binding in this state as of the date of such marriage.

Oklahoma statutes, Title 21, section 21-885 (Incest):

Persons who, being within the degrees of consanguinity within which marriages are by the laws of the state declared incestuous and void, intermarry with each other, or commit adultery or fornication with each other, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years.

In case anyone has any doubt, this should clear it up. 

I understand your son's concern, though.  Police officers must deal with the law as a blunt instrument so they tend not to know about or pay attention to the nuances such as this.  Ordinarily, this is a good thing (don't want cops playing the part of judge, jury, and executioner - their job is hard enough!).  Lawyers and judges must deal with the law as a scalpel, knowing where and how to apply its myriad provisions. 

In this case, KC is right; a police officer cannot just determine on his own that a person is breaking the incest law by having sex with his legally married cousin and drag him off to jail. To do so would be a violation of your Civil Rights, subjecting the department, city/county/state (whatever jurisdiction the department belongs to), and even the officer himself to serious civil penalties in a lawsuit.  Again, a cop's job is hard enough without having to deal with civil rights lawsuits.  Hopefully, they are trained to know how to avoid those.

Best wishes,