Legislature Passes Change in Marriage Requirements

Mississippi legislators have voted to abolish the state's three-day waiting period and blood tests which were required prior to a marriage license being issued.

The Mississippi Circuit Clerks Association and state tourism officials strongly support the change.

Each year, more than two million couples tie the knot in the United States. In coming months, there could be an increase in the number of those couples who choose to get married in Mississippi.

That's because, by an 84 to 37 vote the Mississippi Senate has approved Senate Bill 2851, which eliminates some of the red tape.

"It's laws that were antiquated and we were really one of only four other states that had the syphilis tests which were the blood tests," said Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson. "The three day waiting period was initially set up so people would cool off, think about it, parents could talk you out of it and again I think we were the only state that had the three day waiting period. So, we're glad those laws were updated."

"I know that we were not competitive with some other states," said Lauderdale County tourism director Suzy Johnson. "That was one of the reasons we were pushing for it."

In Mississippi tourism is about the 6th largest service industry, providing thousands of jobs. According to them, for every $1 the state invest in tourism, there is about a $5 to $6 return.

While the new law is expected to especially benefit wedding destinations in Mississippi like Natchez and the Gulf Coast, local tourism officials say this could also lead to some benefits here.

The bill has now been sent to the governor to be signed. If approved, the changes could take effect July 1.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Me Location: Meridian on Apr 10, 2012 at 03:29 AM
    Just thought I'd post this little fact. The number one reason of all divorce's is marriage.
  • by Jon Location: Meridian on Apr 9, 2012 at 04:45 PM
    Just cause you got burned doesn't mean marriage isn't good. Some of us are happily married and would like to see others be able to get married with less trouble. Those old laws about syphillis testing were dumb anyway cause hardly anyone has that anymore and if you want to get tested you can on your own. The State shouldn't make you get tested. My wife and I have never slept with anyone else so why did we have to waste time and money getting tested just to find out we didn't have a disease that it was impossible for us to have anyway?!?
  • by gray wolf Location: neshoba county on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM
    dont do it people . marraige ruins everything
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