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Legal Oddities

Xlrq notes that North Carolaina’s laws against fornication and adultery favor gay sex. This is a pretty amusing chapter in the law of unintended consequences.

13 Responses to “Legal Oddities”

  1. Xrlq says:

    I like to call that law the Defense of Fornication Act.

  2. Actually, it’s what happens when judges run wild, making up rights because it makes them feel good. Until pretty recently, sex outside of marriage was unlawful in every state, and remains technically unlawful in a number of states today. Into the 19th century, oral and anal sex (regardless of the sex of the parties) was a capital crime in most states, and remained a felony in most states into the 20th century.

  3. robert says:

    Actually, that law was repealed a few years ago (2006 or 2007) after an ACLU backed court case came up where some sheriffs deputy got fired because she was living with someone. But for some reason, it still shows up on the NC general statutes webpage. The judge ruled it unconstitutional, and NC didn’t appeal.

  4. mikee says:

    You think it was an unintended consequence? This is North Carolina we’re talking about here!

  5. “But for some reason, it still shows up on the NC general statutes webpage. The judge ruled it unconstitutional, and NC didn’t appeal.”

    Ruled unconstitutional doesn’t remove it from the books. Come the revolution, we’ll put judges on the bench that don’t make stuff up as they go along, and that law will be constitutional again! :-)

  6. Sebastian says:

    Except that I will argue regulating sodomy is not among the police powers of the states. Don’t make me have to purge you after the revolution, Clayton :)

  7. Xrlq says:

    Everything’s within the police power unless it violates a specific prohibition. So don’t purge Clayton for thinking this idiotic law is constitutional; purge him for supporting an idiotic law.

  8. Sebastian says:

    That’s the current thinking. After the revolution, we’ll adopt Randy Barnett’s more limited view of the police power :)

  9. robert says:

    Miscegenation laws used to be on the books also. Are we going to go back to that as well? It’s a stupid law. NC still says that athiests can’t be elected to public office, however they know better than to try and enforce it.

  10. Ian Argent says:

    Proof positive that the Founding Fathers were great – neither John Adams nor Thomas Franklin managed to purge each other…

  11. Jake says:

    Actually, the decision in Lawrence v. Texas should apply to straight sex, too, given that it’s basis is that a person’s choice of partner is a deeply personal and private decision that is a key component of liberty, and that the government has no business in it as long as those involved are consenting adults and it’s not done in public.

    On the other hand, if your curtains aren’t closed all the way and someone can see in, you’re screwed (figuratively), because it’s no longer considered “private.” And then the laws favor heterosexuals, because guess who’s only options for sex are considered felonies? Not to mention who is more likely to actually be charged in the first place.

  12. Ash says:

    Any law like this is unconstitutional after Lawrence v Texas, which specifically protects intimate consensual sexual conduct between adults as part substantive due process in the Fourteenth Amendment, regardless of your sexual preference.

  13. Xrlq says:

    Nah, let’s purge Barnett, too, and everyone else who can’t say out loud “I support X, but it’s unconstitutional” or “I oppose Y, but it’s constitutional” and sound like they mean it.

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