Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Does Black Jack, Missouri, want to be sued?

Apparently they do. According to CNN, the city council for Black Jack, MO, voted yesterday to keep the current zoning ordinance for residential units. According to this law, the town will not permit more than three people who are unrelated by marriage or blood from living together.

Now, that could possibly be reasonable, though punitive to poor people who band together to rent a unit. However, meet Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving. They have been living together for roughly thirteen years. They have had two children together. They used to live in Minneapolis, MN. They came down to Black Jack, MO, and bought a home there. They have three kids together. From the reports I have seen this couple has done nothing wrong other than decide that they do not want to get married. Now it seems, Black Jack is telling them to get married or either a) move somewhere else or b) split up your family because you have had too many children.

Officially, Mayor Norman McCourt stated that the reason for not changing the law is overcrowding. However, according to one report, the reason given to other couples in the same situation is that, "While it would be naive to say that we don't recognize that children are born out of wedlock frequently these days, we certainly don't believe that is the type of environment within which children should be brought into this world," the mayor wrote.

This is not the first place where this has happened. Apparently, Manasas, VA, has a similar statute which is being contested. Of course, there could be something in Moore v. East Cleveland that could prove a stumbling block to Mayor McCourt's view of what is a family.

Mayor McCourt's take on unwed parents would do the Saudia Arabian morality police proud.

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