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Illegal Marriage Loopholes

What constitutes an illegal marriage varies from nation to nation and state to state. Without the proper identification and residency documents, a couple cannot apply for marriage license. Without the license, a marriage certificate will not be granted and so they will not be privy to the rights and privileges of marriage. Should a couple fail to obtain the necessary documentation; a wedding ceremony is just that -- a ceremony signifying nothing. 

For most states, an illegal marriage is one that is entered into by people who are close blood relations. This can refer to siblings, first cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even one's parents. In a piece in TIME magazine, the case of Kelly Fischer is examined. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, he married his daughter in a secret "spiritual" ceremony. This so-called marriage was deemed illegal and Fischer was imprisoned for incest.

Marriage is defined in many dictionaries, as a monogamous union. Most states will not condone a polygamous relationship, let alone a polygamous setup for marriage. Such will be considered adultery and is punishable by law. Only the first wife will be legal, the rest are not.

An illegal marriage also means that false documents have been submitted during the application of a marriage license. This includes false identification, false social security numbers, a false birth certificate and other false legal documents required by the state for a marriage license.

Lastly, an illegal marriage also constitutes to that of a marriage between an illegal immigrant and a citizen of the United States. Some may define this as a marriage that is used to bring in a non-citizen of the States to obtain permanent residency and citizenship. The marriage can be considered null and those involved can even be faced with criminal charges, since this is considered as a federal offense precisely like the above couple's situation.

Depending on the state, same-sex marriages are considered illegal. Even the recognition of the marriage from other states is illegal. Many states continuously refer to marriage in its traditional definition as 'union between man and woman'. This has been a debatable issue that has gone from generation to generation of governing bodies. Currently, six states have legalized same-sex marriages. These states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. New Hampshire will start legalizing it starting January 1, 2010. Maine was going to legalize the marriage starting September 11, 2009 but the decision has been vetoed. This will again be voted this coming November 2009. California performed the ceremonies for a couple of months but this has been stopped, though marriages performed during those dates are still recognized. New York and Washington D.C. recognize marriage from other states but do not perform it. Similarly, there are unions that are performed which are comparable to marriage.