Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fun With Statutes, Part II

Here's another fun one someone brought to my attention:

Wis. Stat. 765.03(1):

(1) No marriage shall be contracted while either of the parties has a husband or wife living, nor between persons who are nearer of kin than 2nd cousins except that marriage may be contracted between first cousins where the female has attained the age of 55 years or where either party, at the time of application for a marriage license, submits an affidavit signed by a physician stating that either party is permanently sterile...

This is fantastic news for the downtown Madison parking cops.

Exactly what special interest was in the Capitol lobbying for this one? Move over, WEAC and WMC - here comes the powerful "people that are dying to marry their second cousins" contingent. Do they raise a lot of money to spend on elections by selling fruit on the side of the road? Do they save money by handing down school photos from generation to generation? I can see the attack ad against Mark Green right now:

"You grew up in the same trailer. You've spent two weeks' pay on her at the DQ. BUT MARK GREEN DOESN'T WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO MARRY YOUR OWN COUSIN. Call Mark Green and tell him you want to get in them drawers!"

I mean, seriously - we allow cloning for stem cells but don't allow men to make an honest woman of their first cousins? I'm surprised the UW isn't lobbying to fund this horrifying genetic milkshake.

Ah, but there's an out for the truly hard core in-family lovers. If you're permanently sterile or the woman is over 55, you can marry your first cousin. So you have struck gold if you either:

1. Work at a nuclear power plant; or
2. It is the year 2036 and you are Jessica Alba's first cousin.

Side note: Being married and posting pictures of Jessica Alba is an easy way to achieve sterility, as your wife is likely to "take care" of things herself. In fact, I think I hear her sneaking up behind me now...

Here's another one that I actually am interested in:

Wis. Stat. 765.035:

765.035 Validity of marriages of epileptics. All marriages, otherwise valid and legal, contracted prior to April 24, 1953, to which either party was an epileptic person are hereby validated and legalized in all respects as though such marriages had been duly and legally contracted in the first instance.

I'm seriously curious about the history of this one. I'm assuming that at some point, state law either didn't recognize or outright banned epileptics from marrying. The new law corrected that by grandfathering in any epileptic marriages that may have taken place prior to April 24th, 1953 (and what the significance of that date is).

Is there any way we can amend the constitution to go back and bar epileptics from marrying? Ever since I found out at about 6:00 tonight that it's legal, I have noticed my traditional marriage beginning to deteriorate. When I demanded my wife make me a pot roast, I was hit upside the head by a flying frozen hot pocket. It can only get worse from there.