American Taliban: Family Group Calls for Laws To Be Strengthened That Criminalize Sex Outside of Marriage

There is an interesting fight in Minnesota where State Senator Ellen Anderson made the modest suggestion that the state repeal laws making it illegal for a married woman to cheat on her husband and another statute that makes it a crime for single women to have sex at all. The response of the powerful Minnesota Family Council is to call for the law not to be repealed but strengthened to make it a crime for men to have sex outside of marriage.

An adulterous woman today can charged with a gross misdemeanor with a prison sentence of one year, plus a possible fine of up to $3,000. This was once a standard “morality law” in the states. For a prior column criticizing such laws and questioning their constitutionality, click here.

Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council insists that “they’re important. They send a message . . . When you are dealing with a marriage, it’s not just a private activity or a private institution. It’s a very public institution. It has enormous consequences for the rest of society.”

These laws are presumptively unconstitutional. However, it is the continued use of criminal law to force people to comply with religious values that is troubling. This is precisely the view of the law enforced by religious extremists throughout the world. This is, as Mr. Prichard suggests, a matter of great symbolism even if the laws are not enforced. It stands for the proposition that consenting adults can be jailed in the United States for failing to maintain the moral principles of their neighbors.

For the full story, click here.

45 thoughts on “American Taliban: Family Group Calls for Laws To Be Strengthened That Criminalize Sex Outside of Marriage”

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  2. “I said the right being violated is the right of property (money). Promiscuity (the offspring created by it) leads to higher crime rates. That crime is costing us a bundle. It wasn’t always that way.”

    First, what proof do you have that promiscurity leads to a higher crime rate? Poverty leads to high crime rates, for the obvious reasons that people need to eat.

    “If I need your permission to call a spade a spade, a leftist a leftist, or a Marxist a Marxist I’ll make sure to contact you.”

    The problem is that you somehow believe these terms have fixed meanings just as conservative, capitalist and right wing have fixed meanings. I’m not even sure if you could identify the various left wing philosophies, except in the broad terms of your own sneering condenscension. When you talk of conservatives are you discussing Barry Goldwater, Dwight Eisenhower, John McCain, Strom Thurmond, George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Glen Beck and/or David Vitter? All of these could be called conservative, but there is a huge difference between what each one believes. That is the trouble with your assumption that a word means what it means. You are big on calling people political names, but not so much on understanding that the names you call don’t represent monolithic viewpoints.

    Even when you identify yourself as Christian, that takes in a lot of territory and a host of different beliefs. Your problem is that you think by using words to represent your short form of ideas, you are making a case, when all you are actually doing is expressing your own pre-judgments, which don’t necessarily represent anything close to the facts of the matter.

  3. Tootie,

    So let me get this straight: I’m pushing for not only keeping, but strengthening a law that may or may not be in conflict with the Establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. The law was enacted for religious reasons, and I’m doing this for admittedly religious reasons. The first thing that the Lemon test examines to determine if a law is Constitutional is if the law was enacted for a secular or religious purpose. (In case your copy of Wikipedia is broken). Yet somehow bringing up the religious aspect of the law is “the introduction of an irrelevant point ” to the discussion of if the law should be repealed? Just because YOU don’t want to talk about something doesn’t make it irrelevant.

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