Shacking up: Florida Legislature repeals cohabitation ban

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2016 2:47 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Couples shacking up together would no longer be breaking the law under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature.

The Florida House on Wednesday voted 112-5 to repeal the state's largely unenforced prohibition on cohabitation. The bill heads now to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

Under a law that has been on the books since 1868, a man and woman living together could be fined $500 and locked up in jail for 60 days. According to 2014 census data, there are nearly 438,000 unmarried male-female couples among 7.3 million Florida households.

The bill seeks to repeal the entire statute covering married or unmarried men and women "engaging in open behavior that is gross lewdness and lascivious."

Florida is one of only a handful of states that still has a law making cohabitation illegal.