End the Criminalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin
  • Petitioned Wisconsin Governor

This petition was delivered to:

Wisconsin Governor
Wisconsin State Senate
Wisconsin State House

End the Criminalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin

    1. Maia Spotts
    2. Petition by

      Maia Spotts

      NYC, NY

Marriage Evasion statutes were popular at the turn of the last century, and intended to prevent minors, divorcees, and mixed-race couples from going to another state with less stringent marriage laws to get hitched and then returning to their home states and demanding recognition. Some, like Virginia's marriage evasion statute, the so-called "Racial Integrity Act of 1924," imposed criminal penalties for such activity. It was this criminalization that was eventually struck down in Loving v. Virginia.

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act established an effective country-wide Marriage Evasion statute, with section 2 allowing states to summarily ignore same-sex marriages validly entered into in another state. While no state is currently under threat of being forced to recognize an out-of-state same-sex marriage, some have maintained their own marriage evasion statutes on their books. Some simply refuse to recognize the marriage, and some take things way too far.

Under current Wisconsin code, "Any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this state who goes outside the state and there contracts a marriage prohibited or declared void under the laws of this state" can be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to 9 months.

Wisconsin will ignore your Massachusetts marriage license, but not before tossing you in jail for having it.

Urge Wisconsin to remove this outrageous and highly-discriminatory statute from its state code.

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