Congratulations to the citizens of Utah, who can now legally have sex outside of marriage.
Gov. Gary Herbert just signed a law that allows “fornication,” or sex between unmarried partners — previously a punishable offense in the state. The law will go into effect on Wednesday, the New York Post reported.
Prior to the new law, fornication was a class B misdemeanor that could inflict up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $1,000 on offenders. According to the Post, the 1973 law that made the act illegal was neither prosecuted nor enforced.
The bill was sponsored by State Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne, who told NPR it was time to clean up the old laws.
“You hear all over the U.S. how you have antiquated laws about horses in the streets and all kinds of things, so we wanted to make them modern-day, in the now,” Mayne said.
The law permitting extramarital sex isn’t Herbert’s first move to secure legal sexual freedom for the people of Utah. As the Post noted, Herbert previously signed a bill that repealed the state’s laws against adultery and sodomy, which had been misdemeanor offenses.
Reception of Herbert’s latest revision has been unsurprisingly understated. “Basically just like, ‘Oh thank God, I can do this thing I’ve always been doing,’” University of Utah student Emily Anderson told NPR.
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