Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mistake in Arkansas law allows marriage at any age

Associated Press Aug 17, 2007
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Thanks to one little misplaced word, it appears that people of any age can legally be married in Arkansas, with parental consent.

Lawmakers say a law passed this year would even allow infants to be married if their parents agree. And that may force the governor to call a special session to fix the mistake.

The bill's sponsor says the legislation was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry — but also let pregnant teenagers marry with parental consent.
An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it.

A commission that fixes typographical and technical errors in laws had tried to correct the mistake, but a group of legislators argued that the commission went beyond its powers.

The Legislature is not scheduled to meet again until January — of 2009.

I was born in Arkansas. I love the state and it will always be my true home. However, there are times when it is not hard to see why this beautiful state is the subject of so many bad jokes.