Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tennessee legislature passes bill banning marriages between first cousins

From CNN:

A bill prohibiting marriage between first cousins is headed to the Tennessee governor’s desk after the state house voted overwhelmingly to pass the measure Thursday.

Bill sponsor Democratic Rep. Darren Jernigan explained the bill would delete language in the law enacted by the state’s General Assembly in 1829, substituting “nor the child of a grandparent” with “nor the lineal descendant of a grandparent,” effectively prohibiting marriage between first cousins.

In 1960, Tennessee’s attorney general wrote an opinion, which determined the statute from 1829 did not prohibit marriage between cousins, Jernigan said.

“I do not know the intent of the 18th General Assembly, or why the AG held the opinion that he did, but I hope it’s safe to say that in 2024 we can close this loophole,” Jernigan said during a discussion of the bill on the house floor on Thursday.

Read more here.


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