November 26, 2009


Shaking Off the Shame

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

FAMILY TIES Shane Winters and Kimberly Spring-Winters, first cousins, married this year despite her mother’s concerns.

TOGETHER Kathy and Dale Hollenbach, first cousins, hardly knew each other until his wife died in 2007 and she sent her condolences. “What I tell everyone is that you don’t choose who you fall in love with,” she said.
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WHEN Kimberly Spring-Winters told her mother she was in love, she didn’t expect a positive response — and she didn’t get one.

“It’s wrong, it’s taboo, nobody does that,” she recalled her mother saying.

But shortly after the conversation, Ms. Spring-Winters, 29, decided to marry the man she loved: her first cousin.

Shane Winters, 37, whom she now playfully refers to as her “cusband,” proposed to her at a surprise birthday party in front of family and friends, and the two are now trying to have a baby.