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Unmarried Couple sues City over Marriage Housing Ordinance

Aug 12, 2006

How much would you pay to live with your girlfriend of 13 years and the two teenage children you share?  Let me give some more background.  Let's suppose you live in a free country like the United States.  How much would you pay?

$100 per year?
$100 per Quarter?
$100 per month?

Well if you live in Black Jack City, Missouri, which is part of St Louis County, local ordinances would charge you $500 per day!

The city has set up ordinances that prevent people not related by blood, marriage or adoption from living together.  Got a frat house, got a girl friend, need a room mate, want to take care of foster children, running a half way house, or any number of things and its too bad not in this town.

A Missouri couple that moved to Black Jack before learning about the local ordinance, soon learned that they would have to sell their new home and move or get hitched!

Since they thought that was not the type of thing that should be legislated (family values that is) they decided to use the American tradition older than that of official marriage, the lawsuit.  Lawsuits have been formally used in the United States longer than marriage licenses, which are a relatively recent area of legislation in the United States.  Sure people have been getting married here for centuries, but it was something covered under the church and not the state, until local governments took an interest in preventing cousins from marrying too closely, while pocketing a few bucks to pay the courthouse bills and the judges inside.  (I myself was married in a courthouse and the judge pocketed the $60 cash required for the ceremony in 1993.)

I wish the couple the best of luck as this is one more example of the state attempting to legislate people's personal lives.  If a person wants to join a church that tells them how to live that is there business, but a city has no business legislating when people should get married.  The next step is that cities will start to legislate when people should get divorced. 

WooHoo ed by Brett Bumeter at 7:35 PM  

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