In honor of the Supreme Court ruling that no American majority has the right to force their cultural beliefs on any equally American minority, I have compiled a list of the dumbest (and occasionally most hilarious, thank you dumbest laws.com!) laws currently on the books.
Lawmakers are only people, and it is human nature that we people think we know best, until somebody knocks us upside the head. Here’s hoping that in the future our lawmakers can take a step back and think before that act, so that they will not look like complete idiots in hind site.
My Top Twenty most self-serving examples of misuse of the law in an attempt to force one group’s cultural and social customs on everyone else, thus failing the test of time:
- In my home state of Alabama, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. Did so many people actually do this that we needed to put it into law? A mustache epidemic! We also recently passed a law stating that laws cannot be written based on books from foreign countries, not realizing, of course, that the Bible was written in a foreign country. Not precisely what they were going for.
- In Arkansas, a man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month. Imagine the debate that went on in the legislature. Not enough, I need to beat mine weekly! Can we compromise on once every 2 weeks? How about more often in the longer months?
- Also in Arkansas, they passed a law providing that school teachers who bob their hair will not get a raise. I must assume they thought that all school teachers were female and prone to lascivious acts.
- In Delaware, six-year-old girls may not run around without being fully clothed. Rather an extreme case of blame the victim.
- Florida wins on volume alone! In Florida:
- Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. (Who would do this twice? or even once?)
- One may not commit any “unnatural acts” with another person. Now why, exactly, were they so obsessed with this that they spent the time necessary to pass a law? Surely they could have spent their time more productively. Methinks they protest too much! I would also like to know who decides what is natural and what is not?
- Next, unmarried couples may not commit “lewd acts” and live together in the same residence.
- It is considered an offense to shower naked.
- Oral sex is illegal.
- You may not kiss your wife’s breasts.
- Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown. I’d also love to know what precipitated that one.
- They recently passed a law making it illegal for pediatricians to council against gun violence. Not so funny. Money and power were involved in the passage of that particular law, rather than care for actual children.
- In Georgia, members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session. Gotta love self preservation.
- In Indiana, my favorite nurse’s home state, it is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public. But would the evidence not vanish as the arrest was being made? I wonder if the witness would actually show up to testify. So, witness person, while you were staring at this man’s groin, you noticed…
- Owensboro, Kentucky has made it illegal for a woman to buy a hat without her husband’s permission. Could she receive one as a gift? Or borrow one? What would the punishment be, because you know said husband would not want to loose the services of said wife if she were jailed? And would he not be the one paying the fine? Wouldn’t he just pretend she had permission?
- In Louisiana, rituals that involve the ingestion of blood, urine, or fecal matter are not allowed. I must agree with the people at DumbestLaws.com that this problem would solve itself over time.
- Massachusetts has made it illegal for a woman to be on top during sexual activities. I would love to have heard that debate in the legislature as well. And how do we enforce this? It is also illegal in Mass to go to bed without first having a full bath. (I am trying to think how these two might relate: wash her, and lay her out… Sounds a bit satanic.)
- In Michigan, a woman isn’t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission. See #8 above.
- In Montana, it is illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays, and illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all. How dare they be unmarried! Let them starve!
- In South Carolina it is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays. Is the assumption that you won’t beat her too badly in public, because you would be embarrassed? Have you seen the things people are willing to do in public?
- Tennessee is the last hold out: interracial marriages are still illegal.
- Vermont women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. What was the downside that they were so afraid of that they had to put this into law? That the sweet old lady might bite someone? It is also illegal in Vermont to deny the existence of God. In a country where our Constitution guarantees us freedom of religion, they made it a crime to deny the existence of God.
Virginia, where I grew up, has my favorite self serving edict: There is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.”
- Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, 14 states persisted in believing that the law could determine who a person was allowed to love and marry.