I found this story via Radley Balko. An unmarried couple in Missouri, who have been together for 13 years and have two children together (and one additional child), are being evicted from their home because they don’t meet the city’s definition of a family:
Shelltrack and Fondray Loving, her boyfriend of 13 years, were denied an occupancy permit because of an ordinance forbidding three or more individuals from living together if they are not related by “blood, marriage or adoption.” The couple have three children, ages 8, 10 and 15, although Loving is not the biological father of the oldest child.
“I was basically told, you can have one child living in your house if you’re not married, but more than that, you can’t,” she said.
The couple appealed the denial of an occupancy permit last week at a hearing before Black Jack’s board of adjustment. Shelltrack said board members asked her and Loving personal questions about their relationship, their children and their previous home in Minneapolis, from where they moved, for nearly an hour. Then the board denied the couple’s appeal. The case now goes before Black Jack’s municipal court.
There is a fair bit of irony here. Loving is also the last name of the couple who challenged laws against interracial marriage and got them overturned (Loving v Virginia), and this is also an interracial couple (and I’m guessing that has just a bit to do with why their appeal was denied). This is blatant discrimination by the government and a clear violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment – it essentially means that a town can decide who can and can’t live there.