AP NEWS

Utah law against sex outside marriage could be repealed

March 7, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A law making sex outside of marriage a misdemeanor crime in Utah for more than four decades could be headed toward repeal.

The state Legislature voted Wednesday to repeal the measure, which now heads to Republican Gov. Gary Herbert. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he will approve it.

Republican Rep. Paul Ray says the 1973 law was unenforceable. Lawmakers also voted this year to repeal similar statutes against adultery and sodomy between consenting adults.

Some conservative legislators opposed repealing the fornication statute. Republican Rep. Merrill Nelson says laws have a role in setting moral standards.

Most Utah lawmakers are members of Mormon church, which opposes sexual relations outside marriage.

The repeal passed 41-32 in the House after passing in the state Senate.