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Chastity Law Repeal Approved by Legislature

Chastity Law Repeal Approved by Legislature



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah lawmakers are erasing a law that makes it a misdemeanor to accuse a woman of being less than pure.

The Utah Supreme Court has declared the law unconstitutional, said Rep. Scott Wyatt, R-North Logan.

The law says it's a crime to accuse a woman of unchaste behavior. The House and Senate have sent the repeal to Gov. Jon Huntsman.

"It's exactly the old double standard," said Gary Crane, a Layton city attorney. "When it's a male who's unchaste, it's 'More power to you.' For a female, it's 'Oh, you shouldn't have."'

He has used the law twice in domestic-violence cases.

"The female pays for it as far as community disgrace, and that certainly is not fair. ... It certainly would be harder to prove to a jury that a mans reputation was impugned as to chastity," Crane said.

Indeed, Ogden lawyer Deirdre Gorman said: "For men, they don't want to be called a 40-year-old virgin."

------ Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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