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NEWS: Singles Sex No Longer a Va. Crime

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posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 03:47 PM
On Friday the Supreme Court of the state of Virginia struck down a 19th century law that made sex between unmarried couples a crime, deeming it to be unconstitutional. Up to this point fornication was punishable by a fine of up to $250, though it had not been enforced since the mid-1800's. This case did not deal with a separate law in Virginia that prohibits sodomy, but suggests that most laws that try to regulate sex between consenting adults are unconstitutional.
The state Supreme Court yesterday struck down as unconstitutional a 19th-century Virginia law making it a crime for unmarried couples to have sex.

"We find no principled way to conclude . . . that the Virginia statute criminalizing intercourse between unmarried persons does not improperly abridge a personal relationship that is within the liberty interest of persons to choose," said the decision, written by Justice Elizabeth B. Lacy.

The ruling strikes down a law criminalizing fornication as a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250. The law had been on the books since the early 1800s but has not been enforced against consenting adults since 1847, lawyers said. The court based yesterday's ruling on a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning an anti-sodomy law in Texas.

The opinion did not deal with a separate Virginia law prohibiting sodomy. But attorneys for both parties in the case said it suggested that the court considers most laws regulating sex between consenting adults to be unconstitutional violations of the 14th Amendment's right to due process.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It's about time!

Even though this law hasn't been enforced in over 150 years it obviously still affected people to this day. The woman attempting to sue her boyfriend for knowingly giving her herpes is a perfect example. I've read of men being sued or charged for knowingly transmitting HIV to their partners; with this law in place people could not sue because they were breaking the law by fornicating, whereas without it there might be a chance of them being able to successfully sue for damages.

I suppose when it comes to the separate law that prohibits sodomy, it won't be struck down unless it also goes to court, much like this case and a similar case in Texas.

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:17 PM
In the military the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) states the only position couples can engage in sexually is the missionary. Obviously noone usually got busted in Virginia for having sex outside of marriage after maybe the 1920's; but with most things I wonder why it took till 2005 for this to be considered unconstitutional. Granted Virginia is a beautiful state, and there's alot of high-tech stuff around if you know where to look; but I think it's about time society comes out of the dark ages when it comes to issues like this......and not just the state of Virginia. I brought up the UCMJ to show how similarly regulated a states (old school) positions on some things can be to a military mentality.

[edit on 16-1-2005 by existence]

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:23 PM
....the south is rising again....'bout time!

[edit on 16-1-2005 by Countermeasures]

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:26 PM
You know is still very archaic laws still in the some of local and states I know about a few but because they are not enforced the state government does not do anything to change them.

Is one if Florida that you will get fine for cutting oak trees I think in you own property because they all belong to the state or something like that.

And then in GA natives Americans were prohibited from owning land.

And then we have the one that makes a crime interracial marriages.

I bet if you dig enough in this things you may fine some weird ones out there, that has not been changed at all.

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 06:25 PM
Laws like these aren't changed until other circumstances give rise to legislation, finally for the masses; not for the few. Since nothing was enforced most of the last century, the law itself was not the problem. The problem was it was allowed to keep being a law, even past the turn of the 19th century. America is the greatest country on the planet for those who live here; but we have a tendency to be on the retentive side of things when it comes to whining about change.

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