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Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More on Defining Family

A few months ago I had a post on a controversial municipal ordinance in a St. Louis suburb that prohibited two unmarried people from living together with their children:

Black Jack's ordinance applies to unmarried couples with children. Under the law, a home cannot be inhabited by three or more individuals not related by "blood, marriage or adoption."

The ordinance recently has come under scrutiny because of Olivia Shelltrack and Fondray Loving. The couple purchased a five-bedroom, three-bath house in Black Jack and moved into the home last month with their three children.

But the couple was denied an occupancy permit because their household failed to meet the city's definition of family.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an update on the situation -- despite the resulting controversy, the city has declined to amend its ordinance.  On a related issue, here is a list of which states treat marital status as a suspect class in their state civil rights legislation.

Ben Barros

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