Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Adultery is still against the law in Florida

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 4:39 PM

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Hey, so here's something funny that a commenter reminded us about today – adultery is still a crime in Florida. 

According to statute 798.01, it's a second-degree misdemeanor to be Living in Open Adultery:

Living in open adultery.—Whoever lives in an open state of adultery shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Where either of the parties living in an open state of adultery is married, both parties so living shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense provided for in this section.

The commenter, Freefly, takes issue with the fact that we aren't holding State Attorney Jeff Ashton's feet to the fire on his embarrassing Ashley Madison debacle. But, since we're living in the 21st century, it's hard to take this arcane law seriously. Cohabitation is cross-listed with this law, so anyone who's living with somebody they aren't married to is breaking the law, as well. 

In 2011, state Rep. Ritch Workman (who was also caught using Ashley Madison), attempted to have it removed from our state statutes, but the law still stands right up there with a law against skateboarding without a license, corrupting public morals (or outraging the public sense of decency) and engaging in "unnatural acts" with another person ("A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance violate this section," the statute helpfully clarifies). 

So, technically if Ashton engaged in "open adultery" he has broken a law – an extremely irrelevant, dated law. They call us Flori-duh for a reason. 

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