Republican Family Values  

MissAnnThrope 56F
11679 posts
5/17/2006 11:56 am

Last Read:
7/29/2006 10:12 pm

Republican Family Values

How can this even be legal?

Town won't let unmarried parents live together

BLACK JACK, Missouri (AP) -- The City Council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

So much for these assholes spouting how children need two parents. Oh, that's right. Only if the parents are legally wedded. Nothing like evicting people from their own homes. Which they probably own.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.

Yep. Nothing like buying or building a brand new house in an affluent suburb and being told, sorry, we don't allow sin in our town. You would think they would have told them they weren't allowed BEFORE they invested all that money in a house.

The town's Planning and Zoning Commission proposed a change in the law, but the measure was rejected Tuesday by the City Council in a 5-3 vote.

It's time to replace the City Council. Seriously.

"I'm just shocked," Shelltrack said. "I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives."

The current ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption." The defeated measure would have changed the definition of a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.

Now, they need a good lawyer who can use this as a loophole. The three children ARE related to them by blood. Out of the five, there are only two who aren't related to each other, which I would think a good lawyer would be able to use.

It's a damned good thing all the colleges and universities are in St. Louis City. We are NOT talking about a shitty little podunk town. We're talking about an affluent suburb of St. Louis, just miles outside the city itself. The average median income is about $10,000 over the national average. On paper, it sounds like a great place to live. But not if you're a group of college students living off campus in this town to try to save money on St. Louis rents, or if you're a Godless heathen.

It does occur to me though, since this town is so anti-family, willing to throw children into the streets, that this should be the next gay community. Gay men and women who want kids never seem to have more than one, whether it's adoption, surrogate or artificial insemination. So it's a perfect town for gay families. Think of all the real estate that will be up for sale soon, as people are forced out of their homes.

Mayor Norman McCourt declined to be interviewed but said in a statement that those who do not meet the town's definition of family could soon face eviction.

Hey, at least summer is coming. These families can sleep on park benches while they try to sell their houses and find a town that isn't so overly moral. The Mayor declined to be interviewed, as he didn't want to be asked, "Why do you hate families?" Or, "What happens to families with live-in maids?"

Black Jack's special counsel, Sheldon Stock, declined to say whether the city will seek to remove Loving and Shelltrack from their home.

Well, if the Mayor's statement on the city's website is any indication, they won't. He says straight out that the law doesn't keep unmarried couples from living together:

Contrary to much media hype and public comment, the current definition of "family" in the City of Black Jack Code does not prevent an unmarried couple from living in the City. Under the City’s Housing and Zoning Codes, each of the following three separate groups of people constitute a "family" when living together as a single non-profit housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit:

a. An individual; or

b. Two (2) or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption; or

c. A group of not more than three (3) persons who need not be related by blood, marriage or adoption.

Now, their three kids are related to both of them, right? So they're under the three people who aren't related. However, the law states unmarried couples without children aren't a family. Or do they believe that all unmarried couples with children have children by multiple partners? In that case, unless families where single parents meet and get married adopt each other's kids the day of the wedding, they can be evicted too. You really aren't legally related by marriage until your step-parent adopts you. If your mother remarries and you're a minor child, you keep your last name until your step-father adopts you. However, I bet this town wouldn't do anything like evicting the Brady Bunch.

The Mayor also says:

The purpose of these occupancy permit laws generally is to:

avoid overcrowding by non-related parties,

assure the lifelong maintenance of the cities housing stock,

prevent new buyers from being obligated to repair residences that were not kept up to code,

preserve the character of the neighborhoods and the City

and to protect the general safety and welfare of the City’s residents.

See that? If you're a legally married couple, you can cramp 12 kids into a two bedroom house. But if you're unmarried, you can have a fucking mansion with 12 bedrooms and not be allowed to live there. Because we all know legally married people NEVER let their property fall into disrepair. Nope. All married men rush to fix the leaky roof the instant the wife asks. Heh.

The Mayor also tries to tone things down, saying that the town has a less restrictive occupancy code than surrounding towns. Yeah, so that makes it right to throw kids out on the street because their parents don't believe in marriage.

I really do think it's time for gay couples in the St. Louis area to start looking at houses in Black Jack. Show them a new set of family values.

papyrina 51F
21133 posts
5/17/2006 12:42 pm

i read this 20 mins ago and was Gob smacked,who cares if there not married,surely its a worse sin to turf them out on the street.

I'm a

i'm here to stay

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:09 pm:
I have to agree with you. But what they're trying to do is force them to get married.

sexymamma662003 31F

5/17/2006 12:43 pm

hell y if gay married cuples moved to that town i think that everyone would freak out it woul be very funny to mess with that town that way. it is unbelievable


MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:10 pm:
Yep. People would have fits.

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
5/17/2006 1:31 pm

So it doesn't bode well for roommate situations, huh?

Ok, since white males under 40 are basically the only group of people who are not protected by Title III and beyond, I think there is a strong case for discrimination.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:14 pm:
Ah, but this seems to be a mixed race couple and they're not the only ones that are having trouble. Another unmarried couple with one common child had a second and their occupancy permit was revoked. This is moral discrimination. When I'm done answering comments, there's another article I have to post to the thread.

flagg134 36M
1582 posts
5/17/2006 1:43 pm

Now lets get this straight I'm trying to figure out their thought process. They want to prevent people from getting birth control and abortions. More abhorrent than that though is the thought of the parents actually taking care of the child while living together. Self Righteous hypocritical BS what does a piece of paper like a marriage license have to do with anything.

The only viable use for a law about occupancy is to control people from turning their house into a hostel or for safety reasons. Not for religious and/or moral beliefs. I'm still getting over it not getting changed in the vote are these 5 people real estate investors looking to make a quick turnaround off the people who get evicted.


MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:17 pm:
Oh, a marriage license says you're allowed to live with your children in this town. They do claim the law is to avoid overcrowding, but as you will see in the article to follow, the families in question have large houses. Married couples are allowed all the kids they want in a three bedroom house, it would seem.

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2053 posts
5/17/2006 2:02 pm

God... DAMN it Ann! Another post I won't be writing.

My initial thought was similar to yours, the Right is always railing against single mothers, and now a group on the local level is discriminating against a two-parent household.

But I was left perplexed... "occupancy permit"? What the fuck is an occupancy permit? I have never in my life heard of such a thing, and was trying to research this for my post.

They hate our freedom! Freedom isn't free! The war in Iraq is being waged to protect our freedom!

What the fuckity fuck-fuck? Is it possible that I need to get permission to live? To exist, to occupy space? What happened to, "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."?

You have to get permission from the Communist authorities in China to move somewhere. Apparently, you have to get permission from the religious authority in Missouri.

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:20 pm:
Sorry and stuff! Do I look like a mind reader? Shall I clear anything I write with you beforehand? Geez...

Now, most municipalities require you to get an occupancy permit, usually issued by the building inspector when you build a new dwelling, install new wiring or plumbing, a new septic, any sort of major repair. However, in this town, it would seem every dwelling needs one before someone new can move in. In the article to follow, you will see that when you have another kid, you have to reapply in this town. WTF? Occupancy permits also cost $50 each, so this is some game to get money out of residents.

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
5/17/2006 2:19 pm

It will be interesting to see how this holds up after the inevitable court challenge. My bet is that the town and mayor will wind up looking like the cretins they are. Let's hope so. It would be fun to have a large number of homosexuals move ther, but unfortunately that's not practicle. Would be funny tho'. And people think I'm an alarmist for going after the neocons and religious right? Got news for y'all, they're already trying to take over.

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:22 pm:
Heh. The ACLU has already taken the case. Of course the religious right is trying to take over. Remember all the fun we made of the Moral Majority in the 80s, thinking they'd never get a toehold in this country? Boy, were we wrong.

8328 posts
5/17/2006 4:40 pm


It's Missouri.

They do alot of things I wouldn't think are legal.

Like vote Bush in to office...

If you looked hard enough you'd find alot rural places in the mid-west and south have similiar laws.

Now do they actually enforce them?

I doubt it.


"My every move is a calculated step, to bring me closer to embrace an early death." -Tupac Shakur

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:23 pm:
This town is saying, they're not going to evict people, but they are going to be forced to comply with the law. In other words, get married or don't get your occupancy permit. Which means, you can be evicted. Typical government doublespeak.

NickRules999 39M
9464 posts
5/17/2006 4:52 pm

I hope the gays do move in, just so the Mayor can have something else to shit in his diaper about. They want to ban non-married couples? What is this? 1950? Sounds like the line between church and state got blurred again.

Now, if this happened in Utah, especially Kaysville, where I live, I would not be suprised, but, strangely enough, Utah does not have a huge problem with unmarried couples. Let's face it, Mormons pump out babies by the truck load. Someone's gotta raise them. And, the LDS church actually supports single mothers. I'm sure to make converts. After all, they don't wanna waste their time.

An occupancy permit? What is an occupancy permit? A permit to live somewhere? I swear, everything is gonna need a permit or a license in the future with these fucktards running things. What's next? A pregnancy permit? Are they gonna arrest teenagers for being illegally pregnant? This shit is out of control.

I'd say it's fucked up, but that's a huge understatment.

Come into my realm! You aren't afraid...are you?

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:29 pm:
Yep. In 1999, when an unwed couple had triplets and couldn't get an occupancy permit, the Mayor actually wrote, "The easiest resolution to cure the situation would be for them to get married," he said of the couple, who challenged the rejection of their occupancy permit. "Our community believes this is the appropriate way to raise a family."

So while he's saying he's not trying to dictate morals, he really is. The LDS church has more to worry about than unwed couples living together. All those splinter groups that still practice polygamy are a thorn in their sides. What's interesting is, only the first wife is recognised legally, so the others are categorized as single mothers. I wonder how many of them are bilking the church.

For the explanation of an occupancy permit, see my response to Voodoo.

cuteNEway 41F

5/17/2006 5:30 pm

OK so now we're gonna take away fathers that actually take responsibility for their kids????????

SHIT!!!! Yet another reason to stop men from taking responsibility for their kids.

Stupid fuckers...

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:30 pm:
Well, the way it looks is, either one parent goes, or the entire family goes. So yeah. A single parent is far more acceptable to these people than an unmarried couple who take equal responsibility.

OboesHonedIambs 62F

5/17/2006 6:38 pm

Dayum! It IS 2006, right?

Instant Human -- Just Add Coffee

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:30 pm:
Yep. And the religious right has finally gotten the power they desire.

teddybare426 58M
487 posts
5/17/2006 7:18 pm

Your tax dollars at work[ the cost of any enforcement come from taxes]

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:31 pm:
Or it comes from all the money they insist people spend to get occupancy permits every time the number of people in their households change.

nightstalker172 36M
1258 posts
5/17/2006 8:09 pm

What happend to seperating church and state....This is why I hate religion...

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:32 pm:
Bush got elected by making all sorts of promises to the relgious right is what happened.

lifeisablast333 54M

5/17/2006 9:41 pm

that backwoods retard town, would not like me, and the fun I enjoy....the redneck

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:33 pm:
That's the thing. It's not backwoods! It's a suburb of St. Louis and only about 20 minutes away from the city. It's the thinking that's backwoods!

header1979 37M
507 posts
5/17/2006 10:12 pm

I don't want to get into a partisan political debate because I don't know the political affiliation of any of those involved. But it seems that the mayor and the majority of the city council may have read more into the law than what is there or misapplied the law. In Fairfax County, Virginia, where I live, we have the exact same law but it has nothing to do with whether someone is married or not or on the definition of a family. I also think that minor children are not included in the count but I am not sure on that point. For those of you who don't know, Fairfax County is a suburb of Washington, DC, and one of the most affluent counties in the US.

The law is designed to prevent homes from being used as flop houses and overcrowding neighborhoods. For students, it means than no more than three unrelated students can rent an apartment or townhouse. This is common in most college towns. Since we have a large military presence in the Washington, DC, area it also means that no more than three unrelated soldiers, airmen, marines or sailors can share an apartment or town house. This seems a reasonable requirement for rental units.

The restriction of no more than three unrelated people living together is rarely, if ever, enforced against people who own their own homes and live in them. The authorities would step in only based on the County health code which has restrictions on the number of people per square foot that are allowed to inhabit a property. This also seems reasonable to protect neighborhoods from overcrowding or unhealthy living conditions. It prevents slum conditions from developing. Again it has nothing to do with marital status or a definition of a family.

The couple in question would be able to live undisturbed in their home in Fairfax County since at least four of the people involved are related and only one may not related and if the children are the offspring of both, then all would be related. I am not sure from what is presented if the three children involved are the birth children of the two adults or if they are the offspring of only one of the adults or if there is a mix. In Fairfax County, it would appear that they may be entitled to one more unrelated person in the house unless they have exceeded the occupancy square foot standard. In any of these options, in Fairfax County the couple would have no problem.

So I don't think the laws are wrong. The laws serve a valid purpose. It is an asshole mayor and city council that appear to be exceeding their authority and should be run out of office by the voters regardless of their political affiliation. It appears that they may have taken one law that defines family for the purposes of providing social service benefits and applied it to the unrelated law concerning occupancy limits of a property.

It boggles the mind the idiot things that petty people do when they get into elective office. There is probably more to this story than what is presented here but none of it would change the fact that the mayor and city council acted like a bunch of assholes regardless of their motivation.

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:37 pm:
Minor children are included in the headcount. It doesn't matter that both parents are related to the kids. It matters that the parents aren't married. They say it's to avoid overcrowding and keep things like frat houses out. However, the copy from this article bought a five bedroom, three bathroom house for themseves and three children. In 1999, when an unwed couple had triplets, their occupancy permit was revoked, even though both parents were related to the children by blood. They moved out of town.

The couple in this article have hired the ACLU to plead their case. That should send a shiver down the spines of the city lawyer. The ruling actually said that unmarried couples with children do NOT constitute a family. This is a moral ruling and it should be illegal.

blueguy1051 60M

5/18/2006 10:45 am

This is a fairly common ordinance in college towns. I know it was the law in Boulder, CO, when I lived there. It was only selectively enforced.

But anyone who thinks a theocracy is far fetched in this country isn't paying attention.

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:38 pm:
You mean, this isn't already a theocracy? This law is telling a family of five that a five bedroom house is too small for them. Idiots.

deepdark52 64M
1 post
5/18/2006 1:39 pm

What do you expect from a town named after a card game?

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:39 pm:
Um... For them to be a bit more liberal?

HBowt2 59F

5/18/2006 2:22 pm

and I thought Ireland was bad.......this has a ring of the dark ages.....

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/18/2006 4:40 pm:
Ireland is downright liberal compared to some places here and what the religious right would like us to become.

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
5/18/2006 4:45 pm

OK, here's the article I've been talking about, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. You will notice double speak about the housing status of these people.

BLACK JACK – The city isn't planning to hand out eviction notices.

A day after the City Council rejected a measure to loosen its rule about what kind of family may live within its borders, Black Jack's legal adviser adamantly insisted that no one will be thrown out of a home for failing to fit the definition.

"We can't evict them because the law doesn't let us evict them," the city's special counsel, Sheldon K. Stock, said Wednesday.

Black Jack prohibits more than three people from living together in single-family housing unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption." On those grounds, it has denied occupancy permits to residents. Among them, Olivia Shelltrack and her partner of 13 years, Fondray Loving. The couple have three children, one from Shelltrack's previous relationship, and moved into their five-bedroom, three-bath home in January.

Black Jack's Planning and Zoning Commission last month recommended changing the city's definition of family so that it could include unwed couples who have at least one common child. But the City Council rejected the measure Tuesday in a 5-3 vote, perhaps setting the grounds for a long court battle.

The city could take Shelltrack and others in her situation to municipal court for failing to have an occupancy permit. If found guilty, the residents could be fined up to $500. But the decision could be appealed to St. Louis County Circuit Court.

However, Stock said, the city will first send Shelltrack a warning asking her to comply with the law. The other resident likely to receive such a letter is Michael Watson, 35.

Watson moved into his home two years ago with his longtime girlfriend and her now 17-year-old daughter. The couple also have a son who turns 3 next month.

The occupancy permit was initially approved. When Watson later amended the permit to add his son to the household, his request was denied. He has been battling the city since December, when he received a letter saying, in part, that his household doesn't meet the definition of a family.

Watson said that while the two eventually plan to get married, he has no desire to speed up their timetable because of the city's ordinance.

"If I do get married, am I getting married out of super love, or am I getting married because Black Jack says I have to?" said Watson, who has been closely following the case of Shelltrack and Loving.

"If we're forced out of our house, what do our neighbors get? A sex offender? A drug addict? A drug dealer? What do they really get? But you do know what you have right now: people living in the house who are law-abiding and considerate, and one is actually a veteran," said the former Marine.

Black Jack Mayor Norman McCourt declined to talk about the issue Wednesday. Because of potential litigation, he referred all calls to Stock. But in a statement, he said the purpose behind occupancy permits is to "avoid overcrowding by non-related parties, assure the lifelong maintenance of the cities (sic) housing stock, prevent new buyers from being obligated to repair residences that were not kept up to code, preserve the character of the neighborhoods and the city and to protect the general safety and welfare of the city's residents."

Watson called the explanation ridiculous. He said he lives in a three-bedroom, two-bath home that provides more than 1,700 square feet of living space for his family of four.

"I have neighbors that have five kids and two adults living in the home, so I'm not understanding how are they upholding this ruling," he said.

McCourt also said in his statement that real estate agents should have informed their clients about the city's occupancy requirements.

Andrea Lawrence, president of the St. Louis Association of Realtors, declined to comment.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is investigating the issue, based on formal complaints filed by Shelltrack and Watson. The American Civil Liberties Union also is considering legal action.

Black Jack's ordinance defining "family" is not unusual. Most municipalities in the St. Louis area have similar restrictions. But many city planners and housing directors say the laws are intended to keep out fraternity houses or group homes in single-family neighborhoods.

Black Jack's mayor has insisted his city's rule is not being used to legislate morality.

But in a November 1999 letter he wrote regarding a similar but unrelated case involving unwed parents of triplets, McCourt specifically commented about the city's "morals and standards."

"The easiest resolution to cure the situation would be for them to get married," he said of the couple, who challenged the rejection of their occupancy permit. "Our community believes this is the appropriate way to raise a family." The family eventually moved out of the city with no resolution to their case.

Shelltrack said the City Council vote Tuesday has topped an emotional ordeal for her. She said she and her fiance bought their Black Jack home to provide a larger home, better schools and a more secure family life for their children.

Asked whether the ordeal has made her consider getting married sooner, she responded: "It just comes down to the fact it shouldn't really be any of their business.

"You can't look at this whole situation and say it isn't a moral issue. They shouldn't set their own moral values and agenda on anybody. That's not how a city should be run."


Seriously, what sort of double speak is this? We won't evict you, but we'll make your life hell and do our best to force you out of our town, you sinners?

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
5/18/2006 7:33 pm

As a wise soul once said: "We have met the enemy, and he is us." The religious fantics we have in this country RIGHT NOW are NO BETTER than the fanatics we are currently fighting in Iraq or the ones who flew the planes on 9/11. There, I said it, NO fucking better. Same philosophies, just different names. The rest of America better wake up, or we will wind up JUST like Iran. Acutally more like the current Iraq, because there will be tremendous interal strife. Fanatics and zealots or ANY stripe are to be feared more than anything else. Hate mail is to be directed to General Delivery, Copperhead Road.

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/19/2006 4:02 am:
I know this and it's something that I've been bitching about for years. Hell, you know the religious right is wrong and needs to shut the fuck up when George Will writes a column blasting them. George Will. Republicans are really pissed about these people hijacking their party. It kills me though, they're the ones who scream the loudest about Muslim law, but they would love to do the same thing here, just in the name of Jesus instead of Allah.

Now, are you sure that those copperheads aren't going to attack the mailman?

teddybare426 58M
487 posts
5/19/2006 5:07 am

Why does anyone who works in goverment feel they can push their own agenda? I'm not talking about someone elected on that agenda. Was the mayor elected to do this? The counsil? Anyone that's behind the enforcement?

Seems an extreme viewpoint being pushed by people not elected for that reason, wasting taxpayers dollars.......and hurting people.

"Wasting taxpayers dollars"

Think the mayor and the council would still be interested in doing this if they personaly had to pay the legal fees as well as any settlement?

Abuse of power. For good or bad reasons, is still abuse of power.

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/19/2006 6:28 pm:
It seems the law has been around for years. The City Council was voting on if it should be repealed for unmarried couples. They then voted with their morals, instead of voting with logic. It's to try to force people with kids to get married. The people who are hauled into court are the ones who have to pay court costs. This is just another way to generate revenue for the town. Who the hell ever heard of having to get a new occupancy permit because a baby is born?

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
5/19/2006 5:16 am

Nah, he knows to keep to the road. Avoids the claymores in the tax ditches that way. Better watch out, someone will write a post calling you a Marxist or a communist. Oops, I think that's been done already. Or maybe it was just me. Damn I'm proud of that. Laughing hysterically (marxist? communist? LMFA, but proud none the less that I've gotten to at least one of the assholes. Joe

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

MissAnnThrope replies on 5/19/2006 6:34 pm:
Heh. If that politcal compass test is to be believed, I'm a left-wing Libertarian. I mean, I come out to the left of the Dalai Lama and way down to the end of the Libertarian scale. I think I come out that way because I believe in responsible gun ownership. Besides, I consider myself more revolutionary than Marxist or communist. Which isn't a bad thing to be. Our founding fathers were a bunch of revolutionaries, after all.

teddybare426 58M
487 posts
5/19/2006 8:00 pm

"our founding fathers were a bunch of revolutionaries"

Most people forget that.

Become a member to create a blog