Things to Remember When Marrying in Louisiana

Yesterday’s story about the Louisiana judge denying a marriage license to an interracial couple prompted me to look into the state’s actual marriage laws.

Apparently, in Louisiana you can:

  • Marry at age 16, with a parent’s consent.
  • Obtain a marriage license by proxy, as long as one of the parties is present and has the certified birth certificate of the absent party.
  • Marry your first-cousin once-removed, or your adopted first-cousin.

But it seems as though it would be frowned upon to marry your absent 16-year-old cousin-once-removed if he/she is of a different race.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.