Last edited: November 15, 2003

Legislative briefs (excerpt) ...Sex Laws

Arizona Daily Sun, March 21, 2001
Box 1849, Flagstaff, AZ, 86002
Fax: 520-773-1934

The House voted Wednesday to repeal the state’s laws on unmarried cohabitation and other consensual sex crimes as opponents warned against sending a harmful message to children.

The House defeated, 31-22, an attempt by conservatives to delete the repeals from a tax bill (HB2016) now ready for a final House vote. Passage would send the bill to the Senate.

Laws that would be repealed if the bill becomes law now make it a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine to engage in unmarried cohabitation, lewd and lascivious acts and "the crime against nature or any similar offense."

Supporters of the repeal argued that the so-called "archaic sex laws" are unconstitutionally vague, while opponents said the Legislature needed to take a moral stand.

"It is irresponsible to erode and take away moral law that gives direction to proper conduct," said Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa. "We owe that to our children."

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