Utah Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sex Outside Of Marriage

Screengrab/Governor's Office of Economic Development/YouTube

On Wednesday, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill repealing the 1973 law criminalizing fornication.

Fornication is no longer against the law in Utah after Republican Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill on Wednesday decriminalizing the act, which previously was a misdemeanor crime, according to The Hill.

Under a law passed in 1973 as part of Utah’s criminal code chapter on offenses against the family, sex between unmarried people was a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

The Hill noted, however, that offenders were not pursued by police and the law was not enforced.

This marks the second bill Herbert has signed this week that decriminalizes personal decisions in the sexual realm, after he did the same for adultery and sodomy between consenting adults.

Not all conservative lawmakers were pleased that the governor opted to repeal the laws, though, according to Fox 13 News.

Republican Rep. Keven Stratton said earlier this month that "What is legally [right] is often far below what is morally right. And I recognize our laws are not strong enough to rule a [sic] immoral people."

Conservative opposition to the bill was evident when the measure passed the Utah State Legislature in a surprisingly close 43 to 32 vote.