(Some of the) Laws in Virginia are Bleeping Stupid

Ugh, so apparently we have to move. It’s all very unfortunate because we love our little house, and our adorable neighborhood and we live just a block from Trader Joe’s, which has always been my main aspiration in life. And, I’ve just figured out where to stand on my neighborhood metro platform to place myself at the nearest escalator exit on my way to work every morning.

But, moving appears to be the only solution since we are–in all likelihood–on the lam. Running from the long arm of the law. Hardened criminals on the loose, as it were.

First, there was this delightfully B-52-headlined story:

A Senate panel on Monday unanimously advanced a bill to repeal an old law that makes it illegal for unmarried couples to live together in Virginia. It is a misdemeanor in the state, under a law dating to the late 19th century, for “any persons, not married to each other, [to] lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.”

Holy bare ring finger. Are you serious, Virginia?

Well, not so much "lovers" technically, but more like, "married people."
Well, not so much “lovers” technically, but more like, “married people.”

When it came time to pick a place to put down roots in this area, one of Virginia’s major selling points was the fact that Virginia does not have common law marriage. Well, that, along with the fact that the taxes are lower than in DC. And, housing prices are slightly less. And, it’s much safer than DC.

OK, common law marriage laws were not at all a consideration in where my illegal consort XFE and I would live. BUT, I did check it out and was much relieved when I found out that we would not be considered married if we lived together.

(Interesting factoid from the above list I linked to: In Indiana, “any unsterilized female under 50 must submit with application for license a medical report stating whether she had immunological response to rubella, or a written record that the rubella vaccine was administered on or after her first birthday. Judge may by order dispense with these requirements.” Really? Rubella? AKA: German measles? Well, apparently, this is a problem in Indiana. Weird.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. So now our esteemed legislators in Richmond are telling me that we have been breaking the law this whole time?? Also, trampy readers in Michigan, Mississippi and Florida take note: you still have cohabitation laws on the books.

Luckily, some hip new lawmaker in Virginia is trying to update the law. And, he’s from my neck of the woods.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) brought legislation to legalize cohabitation, a measure one observer in the committee hearing dubbed the “Love Shack” bill. “Are you suggesting that perhaps things have changed since 1877?” committee chairman Sen. Thomas Norment (R-James City) jokingly asked Ebbin.

Oh those Virginia senators. Aren’t they a jolly, jokey bunch?

Ebbin's for beddin''s that don't require weddin's. (see what I did there?)
Ebbin’s for beddin”s that don’t require weddin’s. (see what I did there?)

However, the future of the bill hangs in the balance, with possible opposition arising from conservative groups who have not yet taken a position, but say they’re “monitoring the bill.”

The second reason we might have to move is even more distressing because it all falls  completely on me. And my unending love of cursing.

Section 18.2-388 of the Virginia Code states that “profane swearing and intoxication in public” is punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor: “If any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. In any area in which there is located a court-approved detoxification center a law-enforcement officer may authorize the transportation, by police or otherwise, of public inebriates to such detoxification center in lieu of arrest; however, no person shall be involuntarily detained in such center.”

Shit. I mean, crap. Whatever. This could be a problem. I cuss with a great, great frequency, regardless of the venue or the unintended audience members. I have seen people physically flinch from the cursing spew that often comes out of my mouth. It’s a terrible, terrible habit, I totally agree. I just can’t seem to get a grasp on it.

If you can't cuss in a Waffle House, I'm not sure where that leaves us as a society.
If you can’t cuss in a Waffle House, I’m not sure where that leaves us as a society.

What’s worse is there doesn’t seem to be any erstwhile young firebrands in the legislature looking to get rid of this particular law. No trailblazing Ebbins. No comedic stylings of one Norment. (Hmmmm, Norment and Ebbins. Sounds like an accounting team, or maybe some Victorian crime fighting duo that cracks down on cussing and the like.) But no. There’s no one. No one to hear my profanity-filled cries.

Except for maybe this school board member from Bloomington, Illinois who just got banned from attending school sporting events for the rest of the year after a recent outburst. But I don’t think school board members are allowed to write bills or reverse laws in Virginia, or anything.

So I’m ……well, let’s just say I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with “stucked.”

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