LIVING IN SIN….Originally via Hesiod, the Bismarck Tribune reports on North Dakota’s attempt a few days ago to remove an obsolete law that prohibits unmarried people from living together:

Advocates of repealing the law say it is almost never enforced, and that doing so would require unorthodox police work.

“You’re going to have to hire the sex police to get the pictures,” said Sen. Linda Christenson, D-Grand Forks. “This is such an intrusion into the privacy of people’s relationships and living agreements, that the only way to (prove a crime) is to grossly cross over the boundaries of privacy.”

Unfortunately, the Republican party has a different idea of “obsolete” and “privacy” than most of us do. On April 1, North Dakota’s Republicans voted 21-10 to keep the laws on the books, while the Democrats voted 10-5 to get rid of it. One independent voted with the Democrats, so the final tally was 26-21 to keep the law in place.

“It stands as a reminder that there is right, and there is wrong,” said Sen. John Andrist, R-Crosby. “Just because something can’t be enforced, I don’t think it necessarily means that we should feel compelled to take a position to take it off the books.”

….Andrist said he hopes enforcement isn’t vigorous, but the law needs to stay to send a message. “I think we need to set the standards for what we think is right and wrong,” he said. “Whether it’s enforced or not is secondary.”

Note to all libertarians: please remember this story the next time you say there’s really no difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to privacy and civil liberties issues.