Unmarried Men and Women who Live Together in Florida are Breaking the Law

Today is March 12, 2015 and it is illegal for unmarried men and women to live together in the state of Florida. If that sounds outlandish to you, you’re not alone. There has been another push recently to repeal Florida’s “cohabitation law” — the law that says couples who are living together without being wedded are subject to a second-degree misdemeanor offense.

Florida State Representative Rehwinkel Vasilinda filed bill, HB 4045, in late February, to repeal the long-standing law. The Representative’s bill would remove the specific language: “If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or.”

Florida’s cohabitation law has been on the books since 1868. As the law currently stands, an unmarried couple living together is considered “lewd and lascivious behavior.”

In 2011, State Representative Ritch Workman proposed a repeal to the cohabitation law, but was unsuccessful because of strong opposition from those who felt reversing the law would discourage people from marrying.

In the United States, cohabitation is loosely defined as two or more people, in an intimate relationship, who live together and share a common domestic life, but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union. As of 2011, there were about 8.1 million unmarried couples cohabitating in the United States.

The first reading of the bill was on March 3, 2015. Stay tuned.

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