Statist American lawmakers both federal and state are continuously in the habit of making silly, stupid, tyrannical and unconstitutional laws since long before the ink even dried on the Bill of Rights.
Religious extremism is almost invariably the impetus for such laws. But if enough good people simply ignore, defy and openly disobey them the statists eventually find their edicts difficult to enforce. Rarely, the statists decide to do the right thing and finally remove the farcical laws from the books.
Lawmakers in the State of Florida have recently decided to do just that with a stupid law on the books for the last 148 years which criminalized the conduct of unmarried couples “lewdly and lasciviously cohabitating together.”
You see, 150 years ago the religious extremist statist lawmakers in the State of Florida believed that unmarried people living together in the same home was ipso facto lewd and lascivious behavior. Back then, and even up until relatively recently, interracial marriage was also prohibited as lewd and lascivious conduct so interracial couples living together was naturally considered a “crime.”
A conviction of this “crime” resulted in a fine of up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail. The law was rarely enforced, but there were some instances as recently as 1979 where state regulators would reference the statute to suspend business licenses. Between 2007 and in 2011, nearly 700 couples were reportedly penalized for living together unlawfully. As of 2010 census data revealed that nearly 550,000 Floridians were cohabiting illegally.
“It’s a victory to have our laws reflect the real world and get rid of old laws that no longer have any support,” said one lawmaker. “It’s also another case of the Legislature recognizing the real lives of a huge and diverse population. We can always have more of that.”
“Whether friends or more, government has no business looking under the sheets. In talking to elders in Florida, who often live together for financial reasons and companionship, they were distressed to find out they might be breaking the law even if they were just friends,” declared another. He characterized it as “victory for smaller government.”
Imagine that! After 148 years at least one lawmaker is actually concerned about having a “smaller government” with laws that reflect the “real world,” and the “real lives” of people.
Yes, at least one lawmaker admits that “government has no business looking under the sheets.”
Cohabitation -- lewdly and lasciviously -- is finally legal once again in Florida.