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Va. senator seeks end to 'shacking up' ban

Jan. 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Virginia Legislature is taking up a bill that repeals a 19th-century ban on unwed couples living together, a lawmaker said.

The "shacking up ban" has been on he books since 1877, said state Sen. Adam Ebbin, who is sponsoring its repeal. It terms such behavior as lewd and lascivious conduct, punishable by a $250 fine for the first offense and a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail for repeated offenses -- though it hasn't been enforced in ages, the (Norfolk) Virginian Pilot said Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled such state laws unconstitutional and state courts in Virginia have followed suit.

Ebbin's bill was voted unanimously out of committee and will proceed to the full Senate for a vote before being forwarded to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Ebbin estimated 140,000 Virginians live with an unmarried partner.

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