Couples must wait at least 72 hours to be married unless the man has raped the woman

Say a man and woman want to get married in New Jersey. They’ll have to wait at least 72 hours.

Unless, that is, the man was arrested for “bastardy, rape, fornication or of having had carnal knowledge of an unmarried female, and the accused person consents to marry such female.”

In that case, officials can waive the waiting period so they can get married immediately.

It’s an actual state law, dating to the early 1900s, that’s still on the books. But state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) hopes it won’t be for much longer.

“So in other words, he can rape her and if he decides he’ll marry her, then everything’s fine?” she said. “Why would they even say that unless it seems to indicate that if they immediately get married everything would be OK?”

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