Monday, November 24, 2008

A recipe for civil disobedience

Ingredient #1: Motive (law which is both inherently immoral and in violation of the US Constitution's freedom of religion, full faith and credit and equal protection clauses).

1. It is the public policy of this state to recognize marriage only between a man and a woman.

2. Any purported marriage not between a man and a woman is invalid.

3. No recorder shall issue a marriage license, except to a man and a woman.

4. A marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in this state even when valid where contracted.

Revised Statutes of Missouri, 451.022

Ingredient #2: Opportunity.

Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state.

Revised Statutes of Missouri, 451.100

Ingredient #3: Penalty.

Every person who shall solemnize any marriage, having knowledge of any fact which renders such marriage unlawful or criminal in either of the parties under any law of this state ... shall, on conviction, be adjudged guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

Revised Statutes of Missouri, 451.115

Any person who shall solemnize any marriage wherein the parties have not obtained a license, as provided by this chapter, or shall fail to keep a record of the solemnization of any marriage, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in addition shall be subject to a civil action by the parent, conservator or other person having care or custody of the person so married ...

Revised Statutes of Missouri, 451.120

The authorized terms of imprisonment, including both prison and conditional release terms, are .... For a class C misdemeanor, a term not to exceed fifteen days.

Revised Statutes of Missouri, 558.011.1

The "opportunity" portion is incomplete, of course -- I'd have to find a same-sex couple who are interested in being married and who are willing to apply for (and be denied) a license and then go ahead with the wedding anyway (which would subject them to the penalties of an unspecified class of misdemeanor per RSMo 451.040). I'm not ready to do that yet, so sorry, Law Enforcement Charlie, no "overt act" has yet occurred. I'm just musing here.

Hmmm ... RSMo 451.040 also provides that "no marriage shall be deemed or adjudged invalid, nor shall the validity be in any way affected for want of authority in any person so solemnizing the marriage pursuant to section 451.100, if consummated with the full belief on the part of the persons, so married, or either of them, that they were lawfully joined in marriage." Since Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage is repugnant to the Constitution on multiple counts, it is, per Madison v. Marbury, void. Is that a get out of jail free card? Or maybe even a loophole that a same-sex marriage truck could be driven through?

I could probably clear 15 days on my calendar for stir in, say, late 2009. I may just have to do that ... but I hope that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.

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