Court Blesses Marriage Between Niece, Half-Uncle

New York judge says first cousins can wed, so these folks can, too
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2014 5:12 PM CDT
Court Blesses Marriage Between Niece, Half-Uncle

Marriage rights are being expanded all across the nation, and New York's highest court has joined the club. Except, as the Albany Times Union notes, "the change is probably not one you were expecting." This one involves half-uncles and half-nieces, and from now on, marriages between them are legit in the state. This particular case goes back to 2000, when 19-year-old Huyen Nguyen wed half-uncle Vu Truong, 24. Her mother is his half-sister.

All was well until 2007, when immigration officials seeking to deport Nguyen argued that her marriage was illegal given the blood, or at least half-blood, relations, reports Reuters. Not so, writes Judge Robert Smith: "First cousins are allowed to marry in New York, and I conclude that it was not the Legislature's purpose to avert the similar, relatively small, genetic risk inherent in relationships like this one." The deportation case continues, reports Newsday, but now Nguyen has a better chance of winning. (Read more marriage stories.)

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