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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Living Together

Two members of the Florida legislature have proposed a bill that would repeal a law that's been on the books since 1868 which prohibits unmarried couples from living together. We're not talking about unmarried gay couples here, but heterosexuals in love sharing an apartment or home. Sounds preposterous in modern day America, but a Florida TV station says that almost 700 people were charged with the misdemeanor -- punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail -- between 2006 and 2011.

My wife and I encountered an identical law when we moved to the DC suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, in 1986, a story I told on this site two years ago.

I'm also reminded of a story from 2007 in which an unmarried couple with three kids were denied an occupancy permit for a five-bedroom house by the town of Black Jack, Missouri, where the mayor and city council thought they were the morality police. I told that story, and interviewed the woman who eventually won the case, here.