BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) — In North Dakota, a man and woman who live together without being married are committing a sex crime. It’s right there in the law, a state senator says, alongside the prohibitions against adultery, incest and indecent exposure.
Tracy Potter, a freshman Democrat from Bismarck, is asking the state Legislature to end North Dakota’s status as one of seven states that have anti-cohabitation laws on the books. It has rejected three such attempts since 1990.
The state has prohibited opposite-sex couples from living “openly and notoriously” as if they were married since North Dakota became a state in 1889. Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have similar laws.