Sex for unmarried people may soon be legal in Virginia

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Couple holding hands (Photo: Sergio Vassio / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

(CNN) — Virginia is for lovers — the married kind. According to state code, it’s illegal for unmarried people to have consensual sex.

Sure, it’s not widely enforced — but Virginia Democrats say it’s time to scratch the relic of a law for good.

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After potentially hundreds of years on the books, the Virginia House of Delegates repealed the “crime of fornication” last week.

In the Virginia Code, fornication — consensual sex with an unmarried person — isn’t legal. Guilty parties could pay a $250 fine.

Delegate Mark Levine, who introduced the legislation to repeal it, said that the law fuels Virginians’ confusion and distrust in the law: If unmarried sex is illegal, then what else is?



“We should not have laws that make most of the population into criminals,” he told CNN.

“Times are very different now than they were in the 17th and 18th centuries.”

The Virginia Senate must pass the bill for it to proceed.