North Caorilina, among seven other Southern states, still has a two centuries old law in it’s books prohibiting two unmarried persons from cohabitating.
When Sheriff Carson Smith of Pender County, North Carolina, found out that Deborah Hobbs, a recently hired emergency dispatcher, was
unmarried and “living in sin,” he gave her a choice.“She was given an ultimatum,” said Jennifer Rudinger, executive-director of the North Carolina branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. “She could marry her boyfriend, move out of the house they were living in together or quit her job.”
The sheriff was backed by the state’s 200-year-old anti-cohabitation law, which declares starkly that “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-two misdemeanour.”
Honestly, I don’t even feel like typing an opinion about this. It seems that every week, without fail, some Southern state makes the news for something stupid and unconstitutional. It’s not like this can just be taken as a joke, either. The maximum sentence for cohabitation if convicted is a fine of $1000 and/or 60 days jail time. What is about about the South that the citizens and state governments feel they need to shove their own brand of morals down everyone’s throats? I mean, trying to ban gay authors, expelling church members who don’t vote for certain politicians… Ya know, I actually really hate to speak ill of the South so constantly, but for some reason this last month so many of the states down there have done nothing but garner bad attention. Is it selective media representation? Really, I’m confused….
This lady has the right idea:
“In addition to being blatantly unconstitutional, in today’s day and age, for the government to criminalize people’s choice to live together out of wedlock defies logic and common sense,” Ms. Rudinger said. “Regardless of how people feel about the morality of people living out of wedlock, for the government to make it a crime and for the government to try and regulate these private relationships among
consenting adults, that is illogical and way out of place,” she added.