Cohabitation Is Illegal In Florida, And Conservatives Want To Keep It That Way

Florida Republicans haven’t done this country many favors, but one, Rep. Ritch Workman has taken up a surprisingly sensible cause: He wants to get rid of several ridiculous, outdated laws, including one that makes it illegal for unmarried couples to live together. Unfortunately, his fellow Republicans are expected to fight him to prevent Floridians from sinking into a state of moral depravity.

The Sun Sentinel reports that according to Florida laws written in the 1800s and rarely enforced, cohabitation a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine or 60 days in jail. (In a minor triumph for gay couples, the law doesn’t ban same-sex cohabitation. Feel free to break out the champagne.) Adultery is also a misdemeanor, and one woman did have her husband arrested for cheating in 2006. Workman wants to repeal a slew of other antiquated laws, including one that requires bicyclists keep at least one hand on their handle bars at all times.

Though everyone should be applauding Workman’s effort to make the state’s laws less absurd, his idea wasn’t well received. A spokesman for Governor Rick Scott issued a resounding “meh,” saying, “This isn’t an issue the governor is focused on.” As for the rest of the Republican party, the Sential says the measure will face “almost-certain” opposition from social conservatives. State Rep. Dennis Baxley declared he’s opposed to repealing the law because, “I’m not ready to give up on monogamy and a cultural statement that marriage still matters.” Excellent point. Who knows what hell would be unleashed if unmarried Floridians got the idea that shacking up is okay, and started recklessly bicycling through the streets without holding their handle bars?

Unmarried? Living together? You’re Breaking The Law In Florida [Sun Sentinel]
Many Fla. Residents Question Adultery As Crime [JAX]

Image via (Richard Semik)/Shutterstock.

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