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"Living in Sin" is Apparently a Criminal Offense
2005.04.01 (Fri) 14:32
The headline: "Unmarried woman challenges law; Fired because she lived with her boyfriend, she files suit to overturn state cohabitation ban." When we first came across this story on Dispatches from the Culture Wars, our first thought was to check the calendar. Hey, it's April Fool's Day, this must be a joke. But it isn't. From the News and Observer:
A Pender County dispatcher forced to quit her job last year after the sheriff discovered she had a live-in boyfriend is suing to overturn a N.C. law that makes living together a crime.
A crime?! She wasn't just fired because her boss didn't like her personal choices (which would have been bad enough), she was committing a crime! Well, what's the penalty for such a heinous act? A $50 fine? Community service?
Living together as an unmarried couple is a misdemeanor punishable by as many as 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Sweet, evil Jesus! Surely North Carolina is the only state to have such a clearly ridiculous law on the books, right? And they probably never enforce it...
In North Carolina, one of about half a dozen states with such a law, 33 people have been charged with the crime and 25 people have been convicted since 1997, according to the ACLU.
25 people have been convicted of living with an unmarried partner over the past eight years and have received jail time and/or a fine of up to $1000?! And this is just North Carolina — apparently about eight other states also have such laws on their books.
Seriously, this is not a joke. We wish that it was. Check it out for yourself in the News and Observer as well as on the ACLU-NC web site:
N.C.G.S. § 14-184 states, in relevant part: If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
To quote Les Jenkins, "What the fuck is wrong with you people?"
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[ Filed under: % Civil Liberties % Religion ]
w hilker, 2006.11.05 (Sun) 20:55 [Link] »
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