On Tuesday, November 26, a very interesting bill was passed by the Senate. The bill in question was Bill 1-107, an act to “Ban the Marriage of First Cousins in Colorado”. This was an interesting topic because few people know about inbreeding laws in their state. Does any one person even know if inbreeding is a problem in their state?
The purpose of the bill is to ensure public health in Colorado by making the marriage of first cousins illegal, even though it does state that existing marriages can continue legally. It reasons that if incestual marriage goes on then offspring will be born with defects, such as decreased physical abilities and recessive diseases. Anybody who attempts to get married to a first cousin will be fined five thousand dollars and will be sentenced to five years in prison.
In the Senate chambers, the consideration of the bill began with the affirmation speeches. Senator Kel Perry began by bringing up the possibility of genetic mutations in babies that are the result of inbreeding. After being questioned about what form these mutations might take by Senator Dewey, Senator Pavalidas wondered if this bill affected both marriage and general romantic/sexual relationships; the answer was just relationships.
Senator Colette Bangma stepped up and gave a speech that in summary said: even if relationships are not banned, if two first cousins have a child without being married, then the government can’t be held responsible for that child or its defects. The Senate considered this point with a few questions in relation to the marriage and reproduction of first cousins, and what might happen if they had a child without first being married. After questioning, Senator Bangma was allowed to take her seat and negation speeches were called. There were no negation speeches, and because of that, the bill was motioned to the previous question. Bill 1-107 was passed eighteen to zero.
Senate Bill 1-107
By: Tristan Medd