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Idaho: A fine line between love and law-breakers

Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year, so we're going to talk about love.

BOISE, Idaho — Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year, so we're going to talk about love.

Named after a Catholic saint, it's actual beginnings can be traced to a Roman, Pagan festival called "Lupercalia" in the fifth century.

The festival celebrated the coming spring and fertility, including a ritual where men would be paired with a woman through a lottery system.

Skip ahead to the 20th century and the Idaho Legislature is just beginning to create laws to govern its citizens. Several of those laws are still applicable today, including at least two regarding Idahoans' sex lives.

This Idaho statute says adultery is illegal, while this one outlaws sex before marriage. Both were passed around 1920.

And despite the dozens of websites that claim it is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than 50 pounds, that law does not exist in Idaho.

Neither does the one that claims that kissing for more than 18 minutes is illegal in the Gem State.

We looked through Idaho's statutes and there was nothing in indecency and obscenity, nothing in public health, and we even looked under the bridges and roads section. But we did look into the sex crimes section of Idaho law and found some nuggets that you might want to know for Valentine's Day.

It is still illegal for people to have sexual relations out of wedlock, which is Title 16-6603. It reads "Any unmarried person who shall have such relations with an unmarried person of the opposite sex shall be deemed guilty of fornication." Those found guilty could be punished with a fine of up to $300 or up to six months in jail.

Adultery, Idaho Law 18-6601, still carries a felony charge with a minimum fine of $100 and three months in jail.

If you're married and you're spending the day with your spouse, you're in the clear. All others, well, we guess there's a fine line between love and law breakers.

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