“Will Utah legalize fornication?”

In case you still want to believe we live in one country, do read this, from Kevin Underhill at LoweringTheBar.

Also, in case you still want to believe lots and lots of people have a sense of humor, do click on the link above and read on. Two things will happen: (1) you’ll fall down laughing and (2) you’ll make plans never to visit Utah.

Here’s how Kevin begins “Will Utah legalize fornication?”:

It wants to.

Oh, it wants to so very badly.

Well, okay, a majority of the legislature wants to, mainly just because laws like this are unenforceable anyway. But for the moment, this is still the law in Utah:

(1) Any unmarried person who shall voluntarily engage in sexual intercourse with another is guilty of fornication.

(2) Fornication is a class B misdemeanor.

Utah Crim. Code § 76-7-104 (1973).

Because I’m apparently unable to write up anything without venturing down one or more rabbit holes, despite the cost to my billable hours, I will inform you that according to the OED, the word fornicate derives from the Latin term fornix, which means “arch.” The connection is supposedly that in ancient Rome, prostitutes waited for customers under arches so they could stay out of the rain. Over time, fornix became a euphemism for “brothel”; the man who visited one was a fornicarius. And what he did there, obviously, was fornicate.


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