Utah governor signs bill legalizing sex outside of marriage

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) late Wednesday signed a bill decriminalizing fornication, making it legal to have sex outside of marriage. 

The law repeals the 1973 misdemeanor crime of fornication, or sex between people who are not married.

The previous law criminalizing fornication was included in the state's criminal code chapter on offenses against the family, Fox 13 News reported.


Those found guilty could have faced up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. The law, however, was not pursued by police for prosecution and was not enforced.

Some conservative lawmakers in the state disapproved of the repeal, according to Fox 13.

"What is legally [right] is often far below what is morally right," Rep. Keven Stratton (R) said when the bill passed the legislature earlier this month, according to Fox 13. "And I recognize our laws are not strong enough to rule a [sic] immoral people."

Herbert also signed a bill earlier this week that decriminalizes adultery and sodomy among consenting adults, according to the outlet. 

The Hill has reached out to Herbert for comment.