Unmarried Couples: You Ain’t Welcome in Our Town

Not only can you lose custody of your children for not maintaining the moral standards of the powers-to-be, they can keep you from buying a house, too. Here’s the scoop from Newswatch 50 (via Fark):

A Missouri couple say they were denied an occupancy permit for their new home because they’re not married.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondray Loving have been together for 13 years and have three children, ages 8, 10 and 15, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The couple are appealing the occupancy permit denial from the Black Jack, Mo., board of adjustment, which requires people living together to have blood, marriage or adoption ties. Loving is not the father of Shelltrack’s oldest child.

Let’s see. One has to get permission from the government to be married in order to get another permit to live in town. I thought this case was simply about some archaic code which hadn’t been removed from the books until I read this in another account of the story:

The couple appealed the denial of an occupancy permit last week at a hearing before Black Jack’s board of adjustment. Shelltrack said board members asked her and Loving personal questions about their relationship, their children and their previous home in Minneapolis, from where they moved, for nearly an hour. Then the board denied the couple’s appeal. The case now goes before Black Jack’s municipal court.

At the hearing, Shelltrack said, one board of adjustment member, Norma Mitchell, even pointed at her and asked, “I don’t understand why you as a woman didn’t exercise your right to marry that man,” before being hushed by another board member.

Mitchell’s quote explains ia lot, but not everything. The picture at Newswatch 50 shows a white man with two white children. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch shows a white women with two black children. Both articles state there are only three children involved. In addition to the moral busybodies, is there a racial element involved as well?

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Steve,

    Offhand, I’d say no — there’s probably not a racial element involved. Black Jack is a multi-racial town (about 70% black, 25% white, the rest various, according to Wikipedia), and I know I’ve met interracial couples there before (I’ve driven an ice cream there route now and again).

    There’s probably not even really a lot of “moral busybody” stuff. What there is is the typical St. Louis County suburb “we’ve got rules, and it doesn’t matter if they make sense or not, The God Government Must Be Obeyed by the peasants.”

    To put it a different way, you’re aware of former Greendale City Marshal Tamara Millay’s ultimately unsuccessful struggle versus this kind of stupidity. Black Jack is nearby, and this part of Missouri is pretty much all Pyongyang Lite from the Mississippi River west to O’Fallon.

    Tom Knapp

  2. A friend inquired about renting an apartment in Central Illinois, about an hour away from St. Louis and after some conversation the apartment manager told him not to worry about the safety of the apartment complex, because “they don’t rent to blacks.”

    Off the record these terms do still exist unfortunatly.

    Regarding the removal of children from parents, this is perhaps the greatest issue facing our nation today, rivaled only by the war on drugs, and the government acting as if the constitution weren’t as important as it is supposed to be.