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Weird Marriage Laws - True !! ...

Updated on May 24, 2012

Strange American Marriage laws

This isn't a cheap shot at the USA, in fact I recently published a lens about weird English laws. This once came about because I received a vast amount requests to create a lens specifically for strange American laws.

When I embarked upon the research I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of weird, wonderful and absolutely dumb American state laws.

In order to develop a fairly easy to read and not too long lens, I decided to break them up into subjects, so for you pleasure I introduce you to some of the strangest laws in the USA that relate to marriage.

I have also created one relating to animal law. Other subjects will follow.

Treat yourself to a book from Amazon - a great gift too!

Alabama Strange Marriage Laws

Incestuous marriages are legal - you can marry a relative.

Wives are legally entitled to retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce. However, this provision does not apply to the husbands.

Arizona strange marriage laws

It is illegal to have more than two vibrators in a house.

There's a town in the USA called Dildo and they even have 'Dildo Day'.

Arkansas strange marriage laws

A husband is legally entitled to beat his wife, but not more than once a month.

Off topic...but, why is is pronounced 'Arkansall'??

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California weired marriage laws

OK ladies, check the mirror before you leave !! In California women must not drive a vehicle whilst wearing a housecoat.

Colorado weired marriage laws

In Alamosa it is illegal to keep a house where unmarried persons are allowed to make love.

Not sure how you stop them !


In Connecticut t is illegail for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.

It begs the question "is he allowed to kiss another man's wife...or indeed another man?"


In Lewes, Delaware getting married for a bet or dare constitutes grounds for an annulment.

It was a bet your honor and I was dared too - 10 years ago!

The Strangest Marriage Laws USA


Incestuous marriages are legal - you can marry a relative.

Wives are legally entitled to retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce. However, this provision does not apply to the husbands.


It is illegal to have more than two vibrators in a house.


A husband is legally entitled to beat his wife, but not more than once a month.


Women must not drive a vehicle whilst wearing a house coat.


In Alamosa it is illegal to Keep a house where unmarried persons are allowed to make love.


It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.


In Lewes getting married for a bet or dare consitutes grounds for an annulment.


Unmarried couples are not allowed commit "lewd acts" and live together in the same residence


All marital aids and adult toys are banned.


It is Illegal for a husband to give his wife a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.


It is possible escape paying for a dependent's medical care by praying for him/her.


A moustached man must not kiss a woman in public.

Kisses are only allowed to last for no more than five minutes.


In Owensboro a wife must not buy a hat without her husband's permission.


It is illegal for a woman to be on top during love making.


Adultery although illegal can only be punished after a complaint by the aggrieved husband or wife.

No man may seduce and corrupt an unmarried girl, or else he risks five years in prison.

A wife is not allowed to cut her own hair without her husband's permission.


Any person being a parent to two illegitimate children will go to jail for at least one month.


Single men between the ages of 21 and 50 will pay an annual tax of one dollar (enacted 1820)


It is illegal for a wife to open her husband's mail.

It is illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays, further it is illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all.


Nobody with gonorrhoea may get married.

It is illegal for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a state license.


Adult toys and marital aids are outlawed

New Hampshire

It is a criminal offense to check into a hotel under an assumed name.

New York

New Yorkers can only dissolve a marriage for irreconcilable differences if they both agree to it.

North Carolina

Whilst engaging in love making, you must assume the missionary position and have the shades pulled.

When an unmarried couple go to a hotel/motel and register themselves as married then, according to state law, they are legally married.

All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart.

Any marriage can be dissolved if either party is physically impotent.


It is illegal to display coloured chickens for the purpose of selling


It is illegal to make love before you are married.


It is illegal to whisper "dirty" to your lover during love making.


Ministers are forbidden from performing a marriage if either the bride or groom is drunk.

Rhode Island

A marriage where either of the parties is declared an idiot or lunatic will be null and void.

South Carolina

If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place by law.


Christian parents are required to ensure their children do not pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.

The intermarriage of white persons living together as man and wife is illegal.


A husband is responsible for each and every criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.


A wife must obtain written permission from her husband to wear false teeth.


If a male is not married, it is illegal for him to make love.

West Virginia

Any unmarried couple who lives together and "lewdly associates" with each other may face up to 12 months imprisonment.

Any person who commits adultery will face a fine of at least twenty dollars.

It is legal to beat your wife in public on Sunday, as long as it is on the courthouse steps.

Share your views and comments

Do you know of any strange marriage related laws in the USA?

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    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Some very interesting laws. If only they were actually followed that would be wonderful..

    • ViolaSuSi profile image

      ViolaSuSi 5 years ago

      Unbelievable! What historic era are they living now - Prehistory, Stone Age? Weren't USA a democratic open minded country that everyone on earth envied? Still a male chauvinist country? our days? What a pity! I changed my opinion regarding them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Also, in North Carolina, it is illegal to make love in the space between the beds in a hotel room.

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 5 years ago

      Funny stuff! Sad that some of these are actual laws!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      I don't know any but these are hilarious!!!

    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      I didn't know about these. They're strange all right but fun to read.

    • equestrianscience profile image

      equestrianscience 5 years ago

      yup, definitely weird!

    • KReneeC profile image

      KReneeC 5 years ago

      I had so much fun reading this! Hysterical!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wow, wonder who polices these crimes and what the penalties are these days. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      Some unusual ones here

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      These are really strange and weird laws. Is there a possibility of getting them reformed? I couldn't help but smile reading these bizarre marriage rules.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      How did people think of some of these laws?

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      I didn't know most of these! Thanks for sharing with us :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh geez, I live in Arizona.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      The "hat" law in Owensboro, KY, takes the cake.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Such weird laws.

    • solutions4u profile image

      solutions4u 5 years ago

      Oh my goodness, those are some weird laws!

      But I like this one from Alabama:

      "Wives are legally entitled to retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce. However, this provision does not apply to the husbands."

      Seems fair to me!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      This was great. LOL,, No marital aids in Nevada...haha.. I think we are the capital of Marital Aids.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I always love weird laws... so interesting to see what people feel needs to be put down in the law books.

    • Ninche profile image

      Ninche 5 years ago

      Great lens! Absurd would be interesting to know the roots of this laws and what is/was their purpose. Enjoyed reading it!

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      The Arkansas one is terrible! What! That's horrible.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      Wow, those are strange alright. Some of them are really funny.

    • Chey1997 LM profile image

      Jennifer Nein 6 years ago from Houston

      You forgot Texas and In Texas it's still a law on the books

      When A woman drives at night her husband has to run 100 yards ahead of her with a lantern .... :)

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      So crazy!!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      They didn't think much of women when they wrote those laws. Those wife-beating laws should definitely be changed!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      So if you must ask hubby for permission to wear false teeth in Vermont, I wonder if it's okay to NOT wear 'em ... just go gummy! These archaic laws are a hoot!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 7 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      My, my. The bad thing about crazy laws like this is that sometimes they once existed for a good reason, but as our world, culture, and way of life changes they make no sense. They aren't enforced UNTIL someone decides to use them to justify a now totally unreasonable action or behavior. Legally it gives them a strong case. Crazy stuff!

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 7 years ago

      Somebody should really take a look at this unreasonable laws and remove or change them.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Amazing! I assume most of these are old laws that for one reason or another, haven't been removed from the books. At least, I HOPE that is the case! LOL

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      You have great law lenses

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 7 years ago from Colorado

      Pretty wild!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @poutine: It won't be long!!

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Those laws must have been on the books from the "ancient time".......

      Totally weird, should be taken out of the books.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @pixelposy: I bet there was a wealthy lawyer behind that nice little case!

    • pixelposy profile image

      pixelposy 7 years ago

      I love crazy old laws. What a great idea for a lens!

      We just had a couple get a free house by not having the wife sign the mortgage papers. Iowa has a law that states both husband and wife must sign a mortgage as a way to protect one from mortgaging a home out from underneath the other. In this case they were purchasing and moving into a brand new home, but since she didn't sign, that voided the mortgage. They took it to court and won a free house. It sounds a little shady, but is a good example of an old law with good intentions being used to get something free out of this world.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @tiff0315: My plan is to research the reasons for such laws - Nevada for example, there is a law relating to camels and it transpires that they were brought over during the gold rush because of their endurance in dessert conditions ...horses for courses!!

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 7 years ago

      I don't know of marriage laws....but in Idaho you can't ride on the back of a giraffe while fishing... and in Oklahoma you can beat your wife with a stick that's less than a 1/4" round. LOL Where do they come up with this stuff!?

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @carlajo73: Can you imagine all the sleezy divorce lawyers asking evasive questions about the spouses lifestyle?? "and if you don't relinquish the family home we'll have you on the old moustache law!!"

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 7 years ago

      My question is: How does anyone know if some of these are broken? I mean do people have video surveillance in their bedrooms or what?? lol Great lens...lots of fun! :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @reasonablerobby: We have a few!!

      Check out my other lens

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      Brilliant we ought to have some of these laws in the UK LOL :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @I-sparkle: America's most wanted??

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 7 years ago

      I don't. I am more worried that I am a felon in more than one state. Ah well, they have to catch me first! Thanks for the laughs. I love these lenses!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @MagnoliaTree: They made perfect sense in their day!

    • profile image

      MagnoliaTree 7 years ago

      I really laughed while reading these. I what they were trying to do with some of these laws-- but others are just plain whacky!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @Brite-Ideas: They really are, I'm going to try to dig out the reasons and history behind each one.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 7 years ago

      @Health-Gal: These are genuine! - I found one in California where is was illegal to eat an Ice Cream on the sidewalk but Clint Eastwood repealed it when he was mayor.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I have actually heard of some of these crazy laws that are still on the books today, LOL! Great idea for a lens

    • Health-Gal profile image

      Health-Gal 7 years ago

      oh come on... are these laws for real or is this just an early april fools day joke??!?!