Back in 1877, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a law making it illegal for unmarried couples to live together.
More than a century later, that law is still on the books—but lawmakers are finally trying to get it killed.
The original statute made it a misdemeanor for “any persons, not married to each other, [to] lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.” (Ironically, the law discriminates against heterosexual and homosexual couples equally.)
It’s generally ignored, but the law was used by a state official in the 1990s to threaten a daycare provider’s license with revocation. “I learned of [the law] last year and thought that it is not only unnecessary but bizarre,” said state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who is co-sponsoring a bill to get the law struck down. “It’s obviously an outdated vestige from a very different time.”
Ebbin, an openly gay lawmaker also working to add workplace protections for LGBT Virginians,will bring the bill before the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice ftoday.