Politics

You Can Teach an Old Law New Tricks

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Social conservatives, terrified straight people, and resentful closet cases have dusted off a seldom-used Wisconsin law in order to oppress their gay neighbors:

Wisconsin law makes it a criminal offense to enter into a marriage outside the state if that marriage were illegal in Wisconsin.

The law was passed decades ago to prevent underage couples from crossing state lines to marry, but it could be used against same-sex couples, The Capital Times of Madison reported Wednesday.

The penalty is a fine of up to $10,000, nine months in prison, or both.

Gay rights advocates are confident that state prosecutors will leave the law where it belongs, in Wisconsin history, but that doesn't stop idiots, like this woman, from droning on about how gay marriages are an attempt to defraud the state.

Here are some more equally dumb laws that are still on the books around the country:

In California, It is illegal to own a green or smelly animal hide.

In North Carolina, no one may be a professional fortune-teller, and if one wishes to pursue the practice as an amateur, it must be practiced in a school or church.

In Rhode Island, one must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left.

And my new favorite:

In Kentucky, one may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.

Editor David Weigel wrote about dumb laws here.

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  1. Fuckers. Wisconsin’s a place where cheese should be made, snowballs thrown, and that’s about it.

    (Kidding. I like Wisconsin.)

  2. In Rhode Island, one must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left.

    We interpret this one very loosely. 🙂

  3. What purpose does it server to fine a minor $10,000 and give them jail time for getting married out of state? Just legislate that out-of-state marriages that don’t fit Wisconsin’s legal requirements are unrecognized in Wisconsin. Putting 16 year-olds in jail for eloping in Illinois serves no good end.

  4. Putting 16 year-olds in jail for eloping in Illinois serves no good end.

    It shows dem der sinners that such abomination will not be tolerated!

  5. There’s one where you can’t fire a gun while pleasuring your wife.

    Which leads me to believe that these laws have some hyper-specific and probably highly entertaining origin.

  6. There’s one where you can’t fire a gun while pleasuring your wife.

    Tox,

    Think about the mechanics involved! I think that if you refrain from actually pulling the trigger both you and your wife can enjoy the experience.

    Of course the way the law is written it makes it far more dangerous to be a mistress.

  7. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
    We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
    And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    They will know we are Christians by our love

    By our love, by our love

  8. tim –

    I think I’ll be first to say that I do not want the average Christian couple making porn to distribute into the public domain. Nothing against Christians…it’s just that watchable porn requires above-average looks and skills, and the average couple is…um, not above-average.

  9. Damn, now I gotta go wash my duckling.

  10. lmnop — you’re clearly not jaded enough from watching huge quantities of porn. I find the professional stuff boring and predictable, while the amateur stuff oftentimes seems quirky and, well, REAL.

  11. I’m still pissed that gay couples who marry get tax breaks that I as a single individual cannot get. The state is subsidizing marriage.

  12. Good point, prole. I like smut with pro production values but amateurish improvisation and anti-conformity.*

    *But, of course, I never watch porn because beautiful, intelligent women are so eager to date me. 😉

  13. I find the professional stuff boring and predictable, while the amateur stuff oftentimes seems quirky and, well, REAL.

    Dude, if you’re hung up on the authenticity of it all, perhaps it would be better to just do it yourself. 😉

  14. Art-P.O.G —

    Utterly OT and from a different thread, but it’s nice to know there are other Chesterton fans out there.

  15. In most of Mississippi it is illegal to use a comatose person’s ear for an ash tray.

  16. LMNOP,
    For an author to write a book 100 years ago and have it be not only classic but extremely engaging and readable is an impressive feat.* Neil Gaiman is a celebrity fan of Chesterton.

    *Let’s face it, half the “classics” are really hard to read.

  17. In most of Mississippi it is illegal to use a comatose person’s ear for an ash tray.

    I think this one’s a solid threadwinner, TWC. 😀

  18. In most of Mississippi it is illegal to use a comatose person’s ear for an ash tray.

    I certainly wouldn’t want any comatose person to be abused like that, but how the hell did this problem even come up? Was there some rash of lazy hospital employees in the coma ward? What happened to initiate the passage of that law?

  19. Damn, responded to a made-up post. I feel like I was Rick-rolled, sort of.

  20. More fucking ‘Gawd’ freaks who want to oppress their neighbors based on their shitty ‘Judeo-Christian’ values…..

    What kind of low-life shitbags are these? I know…. Guy Montag and TallDave are two neo-ChristFags who lap this kind of oppression up. But what the fuck? Are these guys just sockpuppets who hate freedom or are they True Believers like David Koresh or Jim Jones?

    Either way, they are spookish shitholes in the chain of Authority.

  21. lmnop — It’s more like the professional movie critics who pan the big summer blockbusters in favor of quirky indie films, even if the indie films kinda suck on some levels, because they’re so desperate for something new.

    As for your rip-off of Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan — the better amateur porn gives me ideas for spicing things up with my wife. Though it does lead to awkward follow-up questions about “Where did you learn THAT?”

    Though I must confess pros like Olivia O’Lovely and Whitney Stevens have done some amazing stuff with milk and whatnot. Or maybe I just like women with amazingly big asses. Dunno.

  22. *Let’s face it, half the “classics” are really hard to read.

    No shit. I wish lit professors would up and admit that once in a while.

    For an author to write a book 100 years ago and have it be not only classic but extremely engaging and readable is an impressive feat.

    Yeah. BTW, speaking of classics that have withstood the test of time, ever played Deus Ex? Heavy Chesterton influence, among other things.

  23. I’m going to have to check that game out. Honestly, I think the last time I finished a game was like 3 years ago. Even though I acknowledge the greatness of games like “Bioshock” and “Twilight Princess”, gaming for me has been mostly something I did when hanging out with my brothers and friends (Mario Party and Super Bomberman were classics).

  24. Yeah, gaming has been a much more casual “when I have time” thing than it was while in College. I even post to H&R mostly from work (boring and bereft of activity as it is most of the time) where gaming would be hard to fly.

    Deus Ex is certainly worth the time though; it cracks right through Ebert’s imaginary “it’s art, stupid” ceiling if anything does. I also appreciate a 1st person shooter that you can play entirely through without firing a shot if you wish (and also, if one is so inclined, play through while wasting everything in sight). I’ve heard great things about Bioshock, but have not yet had the opportunity to play.

  25. As for your rip-off of Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan

    Honestly hadn’t even though about that. And you’re right, amateur has its virtues. I was just creeped out about Christians being *known by their love*.

    Like they have a signature move, or something.

    [Shudder.]

  26. Like they have a signature move, or something.

    The first thought that occured to me (crucifix money-shot) was pretty sacrilegious

  27. I also appreciate a 1st person shooter that you can play entirely through without firing a shot if you wish (and also, if one is so inclined, play through while wasting everything in sight). I’ve heard great things about Bioshock, but have not yet had the opportunity to play.

    Haven’t played ANY FPS where not firing a shot is possible. Seems like the game would have to suck for that to be possible. Can you give an example?

    Bioshock is awesome.

    The Orange Box is pretty good, too.

    And Civ IV (though that’s not a FPS).

  28. Like they have a signature move, or something.

    Missionary position, in the dark, while wearing PJs, for purposes of procreation. 😉

    Actually, some fundie Christians can be quite kinky.

    Or so I hear.

  29. Actually, some fundie Christians can be quite kinky.
    With Catholics at least, I can definitely see how the stereotype comes to fruition.*

    *I don’t say that in a negative way. I can just see how it’s set up.

  30. OK, I fucked up that tag.

  31. Haven’t played ANY FPS where not firing a shot is possible. Seems like the game would have to suck for that to be possible. Can you give an example?

    The first, and I believe, *only* example where it is possible is Deus Ex. And by fire a shot, I mean by a firearm. I think it is actually impossible to get through it without using a little (stress: LITTLE) non-lethal force (via a stun prod or some succinylcholine-tipped darts).

    And far from sucking, it was voted the greatest game evar in a 2007 Gamer’s mag poll (I forgot which one). This for a game made in 2000. Since games age something like a thousand times quicker than movies, this is saying something.

    The reason it was so good is because it is the gold-standard for level design. Stealth, tanking, talking your way out of shit, and “magicing” (via implants) are all completely viable strategies on every map.

  32. Actually, some fundie Christians can be quite kinky.

    Or so I hear.

    Apparently, (and I heard this anecdotally and many, many years ago), Bondage and Sadomasochism are viewed as acceptable by a greater percentage of self-identified conservatives than self-identified liberals.

    Take from that what you will.

  33. This just in from Cracked.com

    #2.Karaoke (Lilbum, Georgia)

    As we all know, karaoke is the tool of the devil. The city of Lilburn, Georgia has put its foot down and said enough is enough. The mayor says he doesn’t want clubs in his town and is pretty sure once karaoke starts up, it’s just a small step before toddlers are starting fires and people who sing Cher off key will be smuggling assfuls of cocaine to their gun-running friends across town.

    This is an extension of what is basically a ban on bars (town rules say booze can only be sold in places that make most of their money off of food sales). Whether they’re banning karaoke to prevent places from turning into bars, or banning bars to prevent karaoke from breaking out, isn’t clear.

  34. My personal favorite from the Cracked article is the town that banned *Satan*. That is, literally the physical-spiritual fallen angel entity is not legally allowed to enter the town. They even put up signs.

    You can’t beat that shit.

  35. “In Kentucky, one may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.”

    The law doesn’t specify what color you dye it. I suspect this law is to prevent people from trying to pass a duck (or rabbit) off as a breed it isn’t. Although, why the number six would come in, I don’t know.

    The North Carolina law specifies a school or church social, where, I guess, you can do it for fun.

  36. My personal favorite from the Cracked article is the town that banned *Satan*. That is, literally the physical-spiritual fallen angel entity is not legally allowed to enter the town. They even put up signs.

    You can’t beat that shit.

    I’m sorry, I’m still hung up on what the hell kind of situation would have resulted in someone passing a law concerning firing a gun while pleasuring a woman. All else in the thread is lost till I figure that one out.

  37. Are these guys just sockpuppets who hate freedom or are they True Believers like David Koresh or Jim Jones?

    They may be neither. And although I am not one of them, I think I can understand, while disagreeing, that they view certain types of interaction as inherently, inalienably, irreducibly fraudulent and thus that their practice should be prohibited.

    Just as most or all libertarians would deny the right freely to sell oneself into slavery, so some other moralists would say that selling or giving yourself into the forms of slavery they call vice should also be prohibited. They would say that no person, knowing beforehand all the consequences, would ever choose to enter into, let us say, drug dependency, inebriation, nicotine addiction, gambling, deviations from what they understand to be sexual normalcy, and maybe reading, say degenerate literature or worshiping in a false religion.

    As a result, they see these laws serving a kind of broad consumer-protection function in support of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by agents who need equipment to pursue such goods necessarily uncompromised by the results of participating in certain behaviors.

    Again, I disagree, but I think it’s worth trying to understand the point of view of one’s opponent.

  38. In Soviet Wisconsin, married gets you.

  39. I’m sorry, I’m still hung up on what the hell kind of situation would have resulted in someone passing a law concerning firing a gun while pleasuring a woman. All else in the thread is lost till I figure that one out.

    You never watched The Sopranos?

  40. Yet another example why government does not need to be involved in marriage.

    Sorry if anybody posted the same earlier, if they did then I second.

  41. I guess this law is so kids wouldn’t go down to Mississippi, get married, and come back to Wisconsin. I kinda find it odd how the penalty might have been 9-months of prison and/or 10k.

    I believe most of you got it wrong…My guess is this law actually equalizes things so that my homosexual friends have to put up with the exact things I had to put up with getting to the birth of my son. i.e. 9-months with my hormonal wife and the bills to boot.

  42. Are we sure about that duck law? Because I just checked the Australian dumb laws on the reference site and none of them exist.

  43. In California, It is illegal to own a green or smelly animal hide.

    Hmm. Has someone told LGF about this one?

  44. In Springfield, it’s illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

  45. I’m sorry, I’m still hung up on what the hell kind of situation would have resulted in someone passing a law concerning firing a gun while pleasuring a woman. All else in the thread is lost till I figure that one out.

    Really? I thought that this one has a pretty straightforward plausible explanation. A guy was having sex with his wife, fired a gun for whatever kinky reason he has, and his neighbors ran over to see what the matter was, and ended up walking in on the couple.

    The neighbors, not wanting to walk in on more couples, would of course then lobby for a law.

  46. July 10, 2008
    Libertarian Gives $100 Million to Government Theatre
    Posted by Lew Rockwell at July 10, 2008 05:24 PM

    David Koch, co-inheritor of his father Fred’s oil and gas fortune and chairman of the Reason Foundation, is giving $100 million to the NY State Theatre. Formerly part of the NY state government, it is now part of the NY city government. Naturally, since it is not private property, the NY State Theatre is in terrible shape. Mr. Koch promises to fix that. “They like me, and I like them, so I guess we have a deal,” the billionaire told the NY Times. The building will be named in his honor.

  47. The neighbors, not wanting to walk in on more couples, would of course then lobby for a law.

    Perhaps. Somehow I don’t think it’s that simple, but I may be making too much of it.

    Then again, I’m the kind of guy that starts asking “What if she’s faking it?” and things like that.

  48. I’m the kind of guy that starts asking “What if she’s faking it?” and things like that.

    Which is why this law was put in place.

  49. I thought this WI law got overturned a decade+ ago. There was a case in the early-mid 90s of a girl going with her boyfriend and mother to South Carolina, where it was legal for a 14 year old to get married with parental permission. The boyfriend/husband was in his 30s or 40s, IIRC.

    Wisconsin refused to recognize the marriage and arrested the guy for statutory rape. IIRC, the federal courts threw out the case. This is all kinda hazy though.

    Any of you lawyer types with access to records of these things – verification?

  50. I always call bullshit on these dumb laws. Many that reference KY arent still laws, when KY last revised the KY Revised Statutes, they took care of a lot of this. So, I searched them for duckling, here is what I found:

    KRS 436.600
    No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits, under two(2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6), except that any rabbit weighing three (3) pounds or more may be sold at an age of six (6) weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

    It looks like you(or someone) misread the law. You cant sell dyed ducklings period. You also cant sell undyed ducklings, except in 6(or greater) packs.

  51. robc,

    I hereby bestow upon you the Reason Pillow Girl Panties Award for shedding some daylight on these misreadings of laws. (Alternatively, you can trade them in for the Floor Humping Guy Package Pants Award.)

  52. Rimfax,

    I dont know if that was an insult of a compliment. All I can say is that technically correct is the best kind of correct.

  53. Guys in my highschool used to cross the border to get married all the time, it was no big deal.

  54. I also appreciate a 1st person shooter that you can play entirely through without firing a shot if you wish.

    I think you could do that in BioShock. You have a wrench to bash things with, and you have your genetic enhancement/magic powers to shock stuff, set it on fire, etc.

    It would be hella difficult, though, and I really don’t think you could survive the final boss fight that way.

    And, of course, there’s the awesome Assassin’s Creed, with no guns at all. The closest you get is throwing knives, which, while handy, are by no means essential.

  55. In case it’s not obvious (and/or I’m mistaken), the six-pack rule for ducklings, collocated as it is the anti-dyeing rule, seems intended to discourage people from abusing ducklingss by turning them into toys for children. If you’re willing to buy at least six undyed ducklings, the logic seems to go, then you probably have the resources and intention to treat them in ways lawmakers approve. And prohibiting opportunities for departing from that standard is more convenient and practical than enforcing the specific goal of preventing duckling-abuse in people’s homes.

  56. [i]I also appreciate a 1st person shooter that you can play entirely through without firing a shot if you wish.[/i]

    Hitman.

    Except that’s 3rd-person.

  57. This WI law is unconstitutional unless it is specifically allowed under federal legislation per the full faith and credit clause (Article IV, Section 1).

    Matt, the firing a gun law should be obvious. Most of us recognize the Freudian association (packing a big “gun”) but cheeseheads aren’t too bright. They could easily become confused about which one to “fire” in the heat of the particular moment.

  58. In Rhode Island, one must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left.

    Rhode Islanders can be counted on to make loud noises when they pass you, but that business about “on the left” is going to come as quite a shock.

  59. Rhode Islanders can be counted on to make loud noises when they pass you, but that business about “on the left” is going to come as quite a shock.

    True ’nuff. Everyone from not-so-fun states are always so bitchy about passing on the right, but if you practice like we all have, it comes as natural as passing any other way.

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