Marry a hooker, repent at leisure

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Showgirls on the make, Japanese tycoons, brain-damaged Hollywood starlets, Ned Flanders, your lives just got a little lonelier. The city of Las Vegas is doing away with 24-hour marriage license service. Beginning next Wednesday, the Vegas Marriage Bureau will end its after-midnight service, only allowing spontaneous couples to get credentials between 8am and the witching hour.

Another anti-sex wet blanket laid over the libertines in Bush's Amerikkka? No, just budget cuts, according to officials who try to downplay the move by arguing that only about 4 percent of licenses are issued during the graveyard shift anyway. With 122,259 licenses issued last year, that comes to 4,890 per year, nothing to sneeze at.

It's hard news for Charlotte Richards, proprietor of the legendary Little White Wedding Chapel, where Britney Spears and Demi Moore solemnized their less-than-immortal unions. "Let's face it, man, this is Las Vegas. This is the marriage capital of the world," Richards tells ABC. "People just automatically think, 'Let's go to Las Vegas! They're open all night!'"

Could that be what's eating city officials, who speak in terms of fiscal planning but still can't resist a little tut-tutting at those gamblers of love who marry not wisely but too well? "They just can't run down to the bureau at 3:05 and be married by 3:10. They have to give just a little thought to the process," said County Clerk Shirley Parraguirre.

Rita Hayworth and Dick Haymes, Zsa Zsa and George Sanders, Dennis Rodman and Carmen Elektra, Mia and The Chairman: A very partial list of the many luminaries who have tied the knot in Sin City.

Disclosure: During last year's "Reason After Dark" event, my colleague Mike Alissi and I got hitched on the spur of the moment. It didn't work out. We're still friends.

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  1. As a point of comparison: In New York State a couple (heterosexual, of course) must wait 24 hours after obtaining a marriage license before they can actually marry (i.e., a paternalistic “cooling off period”).

  2. Kip,
    That’s it?? In Florida we had to take a course that basically stated that marriage is a legally binding contract and divorce is bad AND wait 24 hours. If we opted not to take the course, we had to wait 72 hours. Not sure what in the hell difference the additional 48 hours was supposed to do, but there you go.

  3. Tim Cavanaugh,

    You must have gotten hitched outside of Nevada, as “we” had already passed our “Defense of Marriage” amendment to the state constitution by then.

  4. I wanna get married here

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