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
The state Supreme Court yesterday struck down as unconstitutional a 19th-century Virginia law making it a crime for unmarried couples to have
"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.