Is It Legal To Marry Your Cousin In Arizona

Arizona prohibits marriage between first cousins, joining many other states that ban such relationships. Here’s an overview of Arizona’s law.

First Cousin Marriage is Banned

Under Arizona Revised Statute §25-101, marriages between first cousins are prohibited. This applies to full biological first cousins as well as double first cousins who share both sets of grandparents.

Any attempt by first cousins to marry in Arizona constitutes a felony offense punishable by up to 2 years in prison under the incest statute. Cousins cannot legally wed.

No Exceptions to the Prohibition

Arizona makes no exceptions to allow cousin marriage under special circumstances. It does not matter if you are an older couple unable to reproduce or if you undergo genetic testing.

The prohibition is comprehensive. First cousins in Arizona cannot legally get married under any conditions.

Differing Laws Among States

It’s important to note that cousin marriage laws vary substantially across the 50 states. About half of U.S. states currently allow first cousin marriage with no restrictions.

However, Arizona and many other states impose outright bans. Neighboring states like Utah, New Mexico and Colorado all permit first cousin marriages.

Social Disapproval Also Plays a Role

Along with legal prohibitions, social taboos against cousin marriage persist in Arizona. Cousins would likely face backlash from family and community members for pursuing such unions.

Opponents argue cousin marriages risk congenital defects and developmental disabilities in potential children. Supporters believe the right to marry as adults is paramount.

Rationale Behind Cousin Marriage Bans

Those advocating cousin marriage bans contend they prevent genetic risks and protect public health. Critics argue banning consensual relationships is unnecessary government overreach.

Arizona lands firmly on the side of prohibition, though public attitudes are gradually shifting nationwide toward acceptance.


In summary, Arizona first cousins face firm legal barriers to marriage as well as prevailing social stigma. Traveling to a different state may provide marriage opportunities not available in Arizona itself. But within its borders, cousin unions will remain prohibited absent changes to the current legal framework.

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