The taxman takes a stand against unmarried sex

  • Blog Post by: James Eli Shiffer
  • July 28, 2010 - 9:43 AM

A Farmington woman who wanted to claim her boyfriend as a dependent on her tax form was warned that she might be violating a state law against fornication, according to this report from Fox9's Tom Lyden. The state Department of Revenue eventually backed off its claim that her tax declaration was violating state law - but only because the tax people assumed that she and her boyfriend were having sex. Confirming that fact probably goes beyond the scope of your average tax audit.

The fornication law dates to 1967 and consists of one line:

"When any man and single woman have sexual intercourse with each other, each is guilty of fornication, which is a misdemeanor."

A misdemeanor carries a maximum of 90 days in jail.

Married women, by contrast, who have sex with men outside marriage are covered by the more extensive, and harsher, 1963-vintage adultery law:

When a married woman has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband, whether married or not, both are guilty of adultery and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

There's an insanity clause, and a one-year get-out-of-bed free provision:


No prosecution shall be commenced under this section except on complaint of the husband or the wife, except when such husband or wife is insane, nor after one year from the commission of the offense.

Finally, there's the "she wasn't wearing a ring" excuse:

It is a defense to violation of this section if the marital status of the woman was not known to the defendant at the time of the act of adultery.


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