With apologies to Hank Williams Sr.: Your cheating heart may tell on you, but that shouldn't result in troubles with the law, too.
At least that's what two Democratic legislators believe.
A bill that would repeal a longstanding Colorado law that prohibits adultery — as well as repeal a separate law that makes it a crime to promote “sexual immorality” — was introduced in the state House of Representatives last week.
“Adultery should be a matter between a person and their spouse,” said Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, the bill's House sponsor. “It is wrong, in my view, to make it the state's business to inquire into who I slept with last night.”
Yes, it is against Colorado law to cheat on one's spouse, and it's been like that since the 1900s. To be sure, it is a toothless law, seeing as how there is no penalty associated with it.
But a separate law that the bill aims to repeal, “promoting sexual immorality,” does carry with it a potential misdemeanor charge. An example of a violation of this law would be when a hotel worker rents a room to an unmarried couple, knowing that they're going to use the room to have sex.
“It has been prosecuted eleven times in the last three years,” Kagan said of the sexual immorality law. “This bill keeps the police out of our private business.”
Kagan is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver. They are the same two lawmakers who unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the laws during a previous legislative session.
The attempt to revive the bill is being panned by at least one Republican legislator. Rep. Libby Szabo of Arvada had some fun on Twitter, saying sarcastically that the bill is “another display of the (Colorado Democratic Party's) focus on jobs and the economy.”
Szabo elaborated on her tweet in an emailed statement to Colorado Community Media.
“It just makes you wonder what the legislative priorities are of two senior members of the Democrat legislative caucus when they're more interested in running legislation concerning sexual immorality while more than 200,000 Coloradans are without a job,” Szabo wrote.
But Kagan insists that this bill “does not take away from our efforts to create jobs and strengthen the economy.”
“We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Kagan said.