ACLU Lawsuit takes down NC's cohabitation law

BURGAW – The ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NC) applauded a state court decision that declared North Carolina’s 201-year-old ban on cohabitation to be unconstitutional. State Superior Court Judge Benjamin Alford issued the ruling yesterday afternoon in a lawsuit filed last year by the ACLU-NC on behalf of Debora Hobbs, an unmarried woman who lost her job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office simply because she chose to live with her unmarried boyfriend in violation of a 201-year-old state law that makes it a criminal offense for partners of the opposite sex to live together out of wedlock.

I've posted the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation's full press release here.

I can't believe it took a lawsuit to rid our state of this ridiculous statute.

Comments

Thanks, Mark.

There are times when I would be proud to be a public interest lawyer and this would be one of them.

Marriage is DOOOOOOMED!

Just thought I'd give the winger's a head start there.

one down, several more to go...

there's a whole slew of other dumb laws that need to be stricken from the books as well.

because, damn it, i want my cotton fields to be plowed using elephants while rollerblading down a state highway on my way to the motel where i intend to reverse cowgirl in the space between the beds with the lights on while my dog and cat get into a fight!!!

Thanks for that link

Though forbidding rollerblading on public highways doesn't strike me as a particularly dumb law.

Grace the cat will bitch-slap Daisy Dog when Daisy gets too animated in Grace's personal space. I had no idea that it was illegal!

some good laws sound silly on the surface

you're right about it not being a particularly dumb law, but in towns like asheville where there just aren't that many sidewalks to begin with, the rollerblading one is a bit impractical.

it makes me shudder to think that most laws owe some kind of behavioral precedent to their existence. like the one in oklahoma that outlaws automobile molestation. can you imagine what kind of "hot man-on-car action" it took for that one to get enacted?

I had a similar thought

about the cat/dog fighting law. Making animals fight for fun and profit is a persistantly popular form of entertainment among a certain segment of society. Is it all that far a reach from cockfights or dogfights to imagine that some hillbillies put their dogs up to fighting captured bobcats? You'd want a law against that to be drawn broadly enough to prevent sponsors from switching out different breeds.

That's giving that law the benefit of the doubt, anyway.

excellent point

my first thought when i saw that particular law was that some lawmaker was having trouble sleeping one night after hearing loud barking and hysterical meowing and hissing underneath his bedroom window and just like the congressman from the old "i'm just a bill" cartoon, he said "there oughta be a law!" (my second thought was a scene from an episode of the simpsons where homer attempted to crossbreed a dog and a cat by putting santa's little helper and snowball ii in a canvas bag...)

i hadn't thought about the "sporting" angle at all, probably it's because it's still a foreign concept to me. horse racing was about as exotic as it got where i grew up.

same thing with the oklahoma car molestation law - i'm sure they meant "molest" in the sense of any one of the myriad other synonyms they could find in the thesaurus, not necessarily "in the parlance of our times". just goes to show what a prevert i am that when i read that it's illegal to molest a car i didn't immediately think "putting sugar in the gas tank".

putting sugar in the gas tank

That's how Brazil is reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Funny how enough time passes and things take on new meanings.

i thought brazil was oil-independent

still, it's great that they're taking steps to ensure that they'll remain oil-independent in the future. ethanol is a beautiful thing.

Boycott North Dakota!

Beer and pretzels can't be served at the same time in any bar or restaurant.

peeking into syntax's soul...

where i intend to reverse cowgirl in the space between the beds

I will ashamedly admit I was a weeeeeeeee bit unsure what that meant and had to look it up.

KaPOW Syntax!!!

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Take a moment ....

I assume that readers here are fellow members of the ACLU. If not, you should be. Even conservatives (not rightwingers, of course) should belong (think Bob Barr).

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
https://george.entenman.name

Zabouti,

Zabouti,

I couldn't agree more with your exhortation for readers to join the ACLU.

Cooper

This from the N&O: "Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Attorney General's Office, said its lawyers are reviewing the ruling and no decision has been made about whether the state will appeal it. Pender County Attorney Trey Thurman said the county is not likely to appeal."

So do we need to worry about Cooper actually appealing this?? If we had a republican AG, I could see it happening. Cooper can't be seriously considering this??

Gotta have time

for a poll. He's a politician. He might want to run for Governor or Senate some day.