Laws are created to protect the public, but what about the laws
that are so outdated and ridiculous they seem to be completely
ignored? The state of Michigan has quite a large collection of
absurd and amusing laws that, for the most part, have practically
been forgotten.

Julie Pannuto
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others, and chickens are the best.
Julie Pannuto
Alligators have a pointier snout than crocodiles and taste like chicken.

These laws range from the language people can use to the way
they can style their hair. While almost every state has a
collection of strange laws, Michigan has a particularly large
number dealing with sex and animals.

A few of the many laws on animals in Michigan include that it is
illegal to have alligators tied to fire hydrants and that in
Detroit you may not let your pig run free without a ring in its
nose. It is important to remember when visiting Wayland that for
three cents a day anyone can keep their cow on Main Street.
However, in Clawson, it is legal for a farmer to sleep with many of
his animals including pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens. It
is also against the law to paint sparrows and sell them as

Michigan residents in relationships should realize there are
laws regarding boyfriends and girlfriends that must be followed.
For all those men who like to sing, bear in mind, it is illegal to
serenade your girlfriend. As well, girls should remember that if
they do not ask their husbands for permission to cut their hair
they are breaking the law. And lastly, if you decide to have sex in
an automobile, make sure it is parked on your property; otherwise
it is illegal.

For singles, it is important to keep in mind that a man who
either is involved in mutual masturbation or solitary masturbation,
in public or private, can be sentenced to five years in prison. It
may be hard to enforce, but it is still a written law.

One outdated law that many are familiar with is that it is
illegal to swear in public, specifically in front of women and
children. Recently, a case was brought to the courts involving this

“About a year ago a guy was canoeing and fell out of his
boat and he cussed and a woman decided to sue him. He was found
guilty, appealed it and then reversed it on appeal” said
Melvin Raznick, an attorney in Southfield.

Other amusing laws include Pontiac’s ordinance that bars
drinking soda from any type of bag.

In Michigan, anyone older than 12 is legally allowed to own a
handgun if he has not been convicted of a felony. If a robber is
injured while in your house, he can file a law suit against

While many of these laws are not relevant today, in the past
they were created for a reason and many served a purpose when
Michigan was mostly farmland. For example, pigs may run free if
they have a ring because pigs are unable to “root” in
the ground for food and destroy farmland if they have a ring in
their nose.

“These laws are ridiculous and laws should strictly be
kept for serious offenses,” commented Raznick.

While the state no longer enforces these laws, they remain on
the books — long-forgotten and insignificant.

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