Can I Marry My Second Cousin?

Q. Your ministry is amazing and provides rich insight and understanding of the word of God. I am from India and now have attained the age to get married. In Southern part of India, we have a culture of exchanging marriage between cousins.

Now, my issue is not even with first cousin but second cousin. I have a liking for my second cousin but we haven’t communicated. I have not shared this with anyone and neither I am obstinate about it, but would be eagerly willing to hear your comment and thought.

A. I think you’re confusing Biblical issues with cultural ones. The Bible doesn’t say who you can marry but Leviticus 18 does list prohibited sexual relationships and they don’t include cousins. Therefore we can assume that marrying a cousin is OK. But even in your culture, as you’ve explained it, there’s no prohibition against marrying a 2nd cousin, and neither is there in Western cultures. In fact marriage to a 2nd cousin is legal in every country in the world.

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