USA, Wisconsin: Could Gay Couples Be Jailed for Filing Joint Taxes?

Written by scott on September 9th, 2013

Wisconsin MapIt’s possible, under an arcane law uncovered by the Wisconsin Gazette.

The Gazette reports:

Under an arcane and seldom enforced “marriage evasion” law, Wisconsin same-sex couples who tie the knot in a marriage-equality state, such as neighboring Iowa or Minnesota, could face nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine when they return home as newlyweds. Statute 765.30(1)(a) of the Wisconsin code provides the penalty to “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.” The law, which is similar to evasion laws in other states, was enacted in 1915 to prevent Wisconsinites from going to other states and entering into marriages prohibited here, such as marriages involving cousins or people under the state’s legal age of consent. The most recent prosecution of the law that WiG was able to find was a 2001 case involving a man who left the state to get married 30 days after his divorce became final. Wisconsin law requires divorced people to wait six months before entering into another marriage.

I’m guessing it’s unlikely the law would be enforced against same sex couples – it would just give them more ammunition in court. Imagine the lawsuits from this one – I was jailed for getting married!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wisconsin.


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