Statute bans shacking up, lawmakers look to repeal
If you're shacking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, you are breaking Florida law.
But don't break your lease quite yet.
Lawmakers will take up Monday whether to repeal a nearly 150-year-old state law that says unmarried men and women cannot live together under the same roof.
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda's HB 4045 would repeal the part of a Florida Statute that says "If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together."
The law, which was drafted in 1868, slaps those living in sin with a second-degree misdemeanor. Rehwinkel Vasilinda's bill will be voted on in House Criminal Justice Subcommittee this afternoon.
A similar bill, SB 1078, introduced by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, would repeal the entire statute which also includes a prohibition on married or unmarried men and women engaging "in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior."
The Senate Criminal Justice Subcommitee will consider Sobel's bill this afternoon.
There are just three states, Florida, Michigan and Mississippi, that have laws making cohabitation illegal, according to an analysis by Sobel's staff, which cited the National Conference of State Legislatures.