Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lewd & Lascivious Fornication

Every couple of months of so I find myself trolling through the Norfolk City Municipal Code, and wondering...who the heck wrote this law?!?

Sec. 29-21. Adultery and fornication by persons forbidden to marry.
If any person commits adultery or fornication with any person whom he or she is forbidden by law to marry, such person shall be guilty of a Class l misdemeanor; provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to apply to a person committing adultery or fornication with his daughter or granddaughter, or with her son or grandson, or her father or his mother.
(Code 1958, § 31-1)
State law references: Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 18.2-366, which declares adultery or fornication by persons mentioned in the proviso to be a felony.

Sec. 29-22. Lewd and lascivious cohabitation.
If any persons, not married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or whether married or not, be guilty of open and gross lewdness and lasciviousness, each of them shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor; and upon a repetition of the offense, and conviction thereof, each of them shall be guilty of a Class l misdemeanor.
(Code 1958, § 31-35)
State law references: Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 18.2-345.

OK, now Section 29-21 at the outset looks like it's just referring to incest in the first clause, but then you get to the last clause, which specifically says that it DOES NOT refer to incest. So you may be wondering why anyone went to the trouble of writing & passing this law...Well, ya gotta remember that it dates to 1958, and when they say "persons forbidden to marry," it's code for "miscegenation" (A.K.A. "race mixing.")

That's right. Gentle Norfolk didn't want no mixed marriages!

On a closer reading, I realized that it could be read to forbid homosexual fornication as well- hey, if you can't marry 'em by law in Virginia, then you can't fornicate with 'em by law in Norfolk!

As for Section 29-22...well, if the NPD actually arrested people for "lascivious cohabitation," then there wouldn't be any room left in the City Jail, and there'd be a whole bunch of flats for rent in Ghent...

No comments: