Marital lawsWaiting period, blood test need to go

Published 10:32 pm Friday, March 16, 2012

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these legislative witnesses to bring Mississippi’s marital laws into the modern times.

In this holy state, our citizens find it silly to have to wait three days before tying the knot. This regulation seems to serve little purpose beyond, perhaps, an inconvenience for the betrothed from out-of-town.

When our state’s laws interrupt the flow of an otherwise costly destination wedding — perhaps to a Natchez bed and breakfast — Mississippi almost certainly betrays our “Hospitality State” roots.

Furthermore, as these capital witnesses can attest, sticking needles into the arms of these two lovebirds for the sake of an antiquated law is simply a silly practice of a bygone era.

As legislators consider SB 2851, authored by Sen. Melanie Sojourner, D-Natchez, we hope they’ll realize that some laws are in need of a little updating from time to time.

While they’re at it, we wish lawmakers would consider increasing the minimum age for marriage. At the moment, with parental permission, males who are 17 or older and females who are 15 or older can legally be wed.

Call us old-fashioned, but this is not the 1850s. Few, if any teenagers are emotionally mature enough to be wed.

But we digress. Nixing the waiting period and blood test requirements is a good place to start.

If any person here can show just cause for why Mississippi’s antiquated laws regarding marriage license waiting periods and archaic blood test requirements should stand, let him speak now or forever hold his peace.