Last week, Virginia delegate Mark Levine introduced a bill to repeal an existing state law that made consensual sex with an unmarried person illegal, according to a report by CNN. The punishment for the crime of fornication is a $250 fine—charged to both parties—and the shame of knowing a neighbor ratted you out for getting your rocks off with the milkman. While the fornication law is not widely enforced, Levine believed it was time to repeal it officially, after it had been ruled unconstitutional by Virginia’s Supreme Court in 2005. “We should not have laws that make most of the population into criminals,” he said, most likely staring out into a crowd full of fornicators. This is the second time that Levine has attempted to repeal the law. One could say this delegate’s got a real hard-on for justice.
As Virginia is on the verge of stepping both feet into the 21st century, other states must now be feeling the pressure to look to their own fornication laws. In Idaho, fornicators can serve up to six months in prison if found guilty, which seems excessive when the average amount of time it takes to fornicate is 20-30 minutes. However, there is a loophole in the Idaho law, which clearly states that “any unmarried person who shall have sexual intercourse with an unmarried person of the opposite sex shall be deemed guilty of fornication.” So same-sex fornication is legal by default. I knew I should have been a lawyer.
In North Carolina, fornication or cohabitation with a member of the opposite sex is considered a class two felony, but only if done “lewdly and lasciviously.” But that charge is harder to prove in court as the admission of guilt by one party cannot be taken as evidence against the second party, which seems like a great way to teach the youth the importance of not snitching. The punishment for fornication in North Carolina is six days in prison and a $1000 fine.
While fornication laws are archaic, nonsensical, and generally a waste of everyone’s time, there is a potential for romance here. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and before the law is repealed, it might be nice to take a road trip to Virginia, fornicate with the person you love or just kind of like, and be outlaws together. Some real Bonnie and Clyde energy without any violence (especially because Levine has also actively worked to curb gun violence in his state).