Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"Shacking Up" and the ACLU

Well once again the ACLU jumps into bed with a cause that seems to contradict Christian values.

So many news items nowadays seem to touch on church-state issues, and here is another. While the Bible clearly teaches the immorality of fornication, a sin against God's law, how does a society reflect this in its civil law?

Certainly not every law of God should be a law of the state. But it does seem that a just society will largely reflect the second table of the 10 commandments in its laws.

Marriage has been under assault from so many angles - homosexual "marriage", divorce, and the general acceptance of cohabitation. So is it really a surprise when the legal system seeks to bring current law in line with current practice?

The following is part of an article by Libertarian Ralph Bristol. While he too is against the law in question, he wants it dealt with via legislature, rather than judicial means. Either way, it's an interesting (and not too surprising) commentary on the spirit of our age.

May 10, 2005

A sheriff’s deputy is openly breaking the law and refuses to stop. What’s a good sheriff to do? He told her she had to quit breaking the law or quit being a deputy. She quit being a deputy. Former deputy Debora Hobbs has now sued Pender County, N.C. Sheriff Carson Smith, and the American Civil Liberties Union is standing with the deputy.

The law she deliberately violated was the North Carolina law against cohabitation. Smith found out that Hobbs and her boyfriend had been living together for three years. The sheriff says the cohabitation was both a moral issue and a legal question. He said he tries to avoid hiring people who openly live together but does not send out deputies to enforce the law.
ere are about 144,000 unmarried couples living together in North Carolina, and they are all violating a statute that has been on the books since 1805.

Six other states have similar laws. They are Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi and North Dakota. In January this year, the North Dakota House defeated a challenge to its cohabitation law on a 52 to 37 vote, so even though the laws are rarely enforced, they have not yet been relegated to the graveyard for the cultural obsolete.

The ACLU will argue that they should be. “Certainly the government has no business regulating relationships between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes,” said Jennifer Rudinger, state executive director of the ACLU. “This law is 200 years old, and a lot of people are very surprised that we even have it on the books.”

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