TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Shacking up together is one step closer to becoming legal in Florida.
The Senate voted 38-0 Thursday to repeal the unenforced prohibition on cohabitation. A man and woman living together could be fined $500 and locked up in jail for 60 days, according to the law on the books since 1868. According to 2014 census data, there are nearly 438,000 unmarried male-female couples among 7.3 million Florida households.
The bill (SB 498) seeks to repeal the entire statute covering married or unmarried men and women “engaging in open behavior that is gross lewdness and lascivious.” It now heads to the Florida House. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Rick Scott.
Florida, Michigan and Mississippi are the only states that still have laws on the books making cohabitation illegal.