The institution of marriage, for all the good it does our society it sure takes a beating in the legal system. It seems as if marriage, the definition of marriage, who can marry who, and what constitutes a marriage have all been debated in the courts during this past year. Now comes word that the legislature wants to make sure that nobody is getting married for the wrong reasons.

While we can't define the wrong or right reasons based on social, economic, religious, or sexual  preference we can at least say proudly you can't get married in Louisiana just because you're an illegal alien and you want to live here. We got laws against that. It helps if you read that last sentence with a strong Southern accent.

The issue with illegal aliens using the institution of marriage to gain entry and acceptance into our state and our country has troubled Louisiana Representative Valarie Hodges of Denham Springs. Representative Hodges told the Louisiana Radio Network what the changes in the state's outdated marriage license laws will do.

It protects the reliability and the accuracy of information and it assures that the marriage process is not subject to fraud.

Hodges says this new legislation will prevent anyone from getting married without proper documentation. That documentation should include a birth certificate, a valid international ID, or passport. The law also requires couples to sign documents declaring under oath that there were no lies or untruths told on the paperwork required for marriage.

Hodges believes these steps are needed.

It does deal with marriage fraud being a very common way for foreign nationals to gain permanent residency in the United States. We don't want terrorists obtaining green cards and citizenship through marriage and I believe my constituents would agree with me.

The new law went into effect with the beginning of the New Year.