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Published on November 12th, 2014 | by Personal Rights

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Three of the Weirdest Marriage Laws in the History of Weddings

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The most common marriage laws you hear about in legislative news nowadays are the ones regarding same-sex couples. It seems like every few months, a new state is amending its legal statutes so that same-sex couples can wed, allowing them to take advantage of marriage’s numerous legal benefits.

However, these marriage laws aren’t the only ones worth reading about. The U.S. law books are chock full of oddball legal statutes, some of which weirdly stipulate how people can get married. Here are just a few such strange laws our legislative history research was able to dig up.

Grooms Must Pass a Test of Manhood in Massachusetts.

If you’re a man who wants to get married in Truro, Massachusetts, you’d better be a good hunter. There’s a law there that says a groom needs to “prove himself manly” before he can get married. According to the law, this is done by hunting and killing three crows or six blackbirds.

Teenage Marriages in Arkansas.

For a few months between 2007 and 2008, the state of Arkansas had a legal statute allowing anyone under the age of 18 to get married, just so long as they had parental consent. Yes, anyone, even babies, though the intent of the legal statute was to allow pregnant teenagers to get married if their parents approved. However, legislators failed to put an age restriction on the law, which combined with a grammatical error, let people of any age get married. The legal statute was eventually fixed, and now 17-year-old boys and 16-year-old girls can get married with parental consent.

Proposal Pranks Are Illegal in South Carolina.

If you’re going to propose to someone in South Carolina, you’d better know what you’re getting into. The Palmetto State has a legal statue expressly forbidding any man over the age of 16 from proposing to someone and not meaning it. According to the Offenses Against Morality and Decency act, jokingly proposing to someone as a gag (or proposing to someone just to seduce them) is a misdemeanor.

If your own law research has pulled up any other weird legal statutes like these, feel free to share in the comments. See this link for more: www.legintent.com


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