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North Dakota Law Says ElderHippies Are "Living In Sin"

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-28-07 05:53 AM
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North Dakota Law Says ElderHippies Are "Living In Sin"
Well, it seems that North Dakota is targeting these elderly sinners so they can't max-out those great Social Security benefits. They don't want them living too lavishly I suppose. Hell, with all that extra loot, they might be able to make that bus trip to Canada for those drugs they can't afford at home.


Lawmaker Targets Anti-Cohabitation Law
North Dakota, Six Other States Ban 'Living in Sin'


BISMARCK, N.D. (Feb. 27) - Don Polries and Helen Vetter don't look like outlaws. She's 82 and nearly blind, and he's an 87-year-old World War II veteran whose only brush with the law was a traffic ticket or two, decades ago.

But the retired farmers - and thousands like them - are considered criminals in North Dakota because they're not married and live together. It makes Polries chuckle and Vetter steam. "I will not have the state ruling us old people," Vetter said. "All we're trying to do is help each other out ... Boy, I'd like to see the state come and try and split us up."


North Dakota is one of seven states that bar a man and woman from living together "openly and notoriously" as if they were married. Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have similar laws. The North Dakota law has been on the books since statehood, and lists cohabitation as a sex crime, along with rape, incest and adultery.

"It's misguided and a stain on North Dakota's Century Code," said freshman state Sen. Tracy Potter, a Bismarck Democrat who has sponsored legislation to repeal the anti-cohabitation law. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill Tuesday.


Sen. Tim Mathern, a Fargo Democrat, has opposed attempts to repeal the anti-cohabitation law. Those attempts at repeal failed in the last two legislative sessions. "I think the majority of people think they ought to be married if they're living together," Mathern said. He said the present law was written to prevent fraud, not to prevent people from living together. The North Dakota Supreme Court has specifically rejected that interpretation, most recently in May 2001.


Jennifer Ring, executive director of the ACLU of the Dakotas, said the law has never been enforced, and she called it "unconstitutional and silly." The new version, if passed by the House, also could be challenged as unconstitutional, and is not needed, she said. "Defrauding someone through a lie is already a crime," she said. Census figures from 2000 show 23,000 people in North Dakota living in de facto relationships, Potter said. Census figures from that same year show 5.2 million people nationwide lived in an "unmarried partner household."

Rep. Louise "Weezie" Potter, a Grand Forks Democrat who is not related to Tracy Potter, said her elderly mother-in-law and longtime partner wanted to move from Florida to a senior home in Grand Forks a few years ago. They were not allowed to move in because they weren't married, Potter said.

Potter's mother-in-law, who now suffers from Alzheimer's disease, now lives alone in a seniors home in East Grand Forks, Minn. Potter's husband, Tom, a Presbyterian minister, said he and his family never objected to his 78-year-old mother living with her partner for many years. "One of the reasons she and her companion didn't get married is because she was receiving veterans' benefits after she was widowed," Tom Potter said. "She would have lost them had she remarried."

Polries and Vetter met at a dance a dozen years ago. Both had divorced after more than 40 years of marriage. She has two children; Polries has seven, all of whom are married. The couple said none of their children object to their living arrangement. "We're never going to get married - for what?" Vetter said. "You get married one year, and die the next."

*** - So if the elder North Dakotans follow the law and stop their sinful ways, as a reward they get to be plunged further and deeper into poverty. Peachy.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-28-07 06:15 AM
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1. these north dakota ''law-makers'' exemplify that hate
is an ever renewing well.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-28-07 07:02 AM
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2. Hey, we're a red state, whatuya expect?
The only thing greater than infinity in this state are its peoples stupidity. Vote for bu$h, he is saving us from the terrorists and the economy is booming; no pun intended.
This is a farm state and repugs keep passing disastrous farm bills, towns are dying... Several hundreds of bankruptcies every month. Our Workman's Comp is in perpetual scandal.
But we have lots of CO-OP's, a State Bank and a State Mill and Elevator. Don't you touch these ram-rod stright, conservitive, Saddam did it, rightwingnut socialisms.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-28-07 07:38 AM
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3. At one time, one could argue that the reason for a law like
this was to protect any children the couple would have-but I doubt if any of these couples are going to conceive a kid.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-14-07 01:42 PM
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4. For all of our perceived backwardness...
Texas is progressive. There is nothing wrong with cohabitation, common law marriages are, well common, and the term illegitimate does not appear on a birth certificate. And we don't harass our elders. Tell them to come on down, the weather is better too.
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