'Who Cares What Our Family Thinks?' Kissing Cousins Petition Utah For Right To Marry
The couple got hitched in Colorado, where marriage between first cousins is legal; now they want to change Utah's laws.
EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UT — After coming out loud and proud about their love, a pair of first cousins drove from Utah to Colorado and got legally married. Now they want to change the laws in their home state so they can be recognized there as husband and wife.
Angie Lee and Michael Lee are first cousins. Their parents are siblings. Angie’s father is the oldest in a family of 12 children; Michael’s mother is number five in that brood.
The couple say they’ve been in love their entire lives, although they never let on about their feelings — until now.
Beaming groom Michael said his infatuation with cousin-wife Angie started when they were both in the second grade. He said, “I remember I stopped her mother and said, ‘I'm going to marry Angie.’ And she said, ‘No, I'm sorry, you can't, but you can be friends.”
Years of torment followed, with Michael saying, “This is something I've always felt — life was unfair. Why did the person I want to be with the most and had the most attraction to and the most natural feelings for…? Why did you have to be my cousin?”
After a recent separation of 10 years, the kissing cousins decided first to become a couple and, more recently, to get married. Hence the trek to Colorado, where marriage between first cousins is legal.
Talking to a reporter, Angie Lee said, “We said, ‘Okay, this is crazy but we're adults now, we're single now, we're just going to go for it, and who cares what our family thinks!"
In the Lees’ home state of Utah, such unions are against the law unless the cousins are over 65 or, if they can prove they’re incapable of having children, over 55. The potential for genetic disorders among the offspring of first cousins is notably higher than that of the children of non–blood relatives.
After the wedding, Angie and Michael returned to Utah, determined to fight to be recognized as spouses at home. Seeking public support through social media, the Lees have launched an online petition.
Michael told a local TV station, “As soon as we crossed over the state border, we're not married anymore… We would like to have enough exposure to where we can go into a congressman or senator — someone with political clout — and present a case sound enough to get the law changed.”
Turning to his blushing cousin-bride, Michael added, “No one I’ve ever been with will make me feel as perfect as she does. Her being my cousin and some of the responses is a small price to pay. I always loved you, Angie. You know that.”