The brewing controversy in Black Jack, a town of 6,800 in the central state of Missouri, began unfolding earlier this year when Olivia Shelltrack and Fondray Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a four-bedroom house they had purchased.
Local officials told the couple that the fact they were not married and had three children, one from Shelltrack’s previous relationship, did not fit the town’s definition of “family”.
A Black Jack ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together in a single family home unless they are related by “blood, marriage or adoption”.
The couple were then left with the option of getting married, packing their bags and leaving town, or putting up a fight, which is what they decided to do.
“I think the city wants to send a clear message that they don’t want children born out of wedlock,” Shelltrack told AFP in a phone interview. “It has become a moral issue for them.
Of course, now the ACLU may be in on the gig, and the couple has decided to fight the ruling. Let’s see if I get this straight. The couple was told that the people of the town decided that they wanted the benefits that marriage bring the town and family. The couple was also told that they could get married and satisfy the problem.
So, what does this couple do? They decide not to get married and to fight the ruling. This sounds like a setup to me. I mean, if this couple is really insistant on doing something the town frowns on– find a new town! Or, why not get married if they want to live there? It’s certainly cheaper than the legal route. Why do they have to force their beliefs on that town? Who gives them the right to dictate what a family is for the town rather than what the town’s mores are? How dare these people, and how dare the meda portray them as victims!