Oklahoma is home to some pretty stupid laws. I know this because we've written about them. My two favorites are the statute that bans whaling at Lake Eufaula, and the law that prohibits people from taking a bite from a stranger's hamburger while walking down the street. I think we call that one the Johnnie's Amendment.
On that note, with Oklahoma benefiting from a bountiful budget surplus, booming economy, and world-class educational system, state lawmakers have been hard at work reviewing and repealing some of the more obsolete and archaic laws still on the books, including the one that prohibited swain gentlemen callers from seducing young nubile virgins with the promise of marriage.
For more than a century, seducing a virgin by promising to marry her has been illegal in Oklahoma.
So has been slandering a woman's virtue.
Those old laws will be coming off the books this fall.
Wait. So you're telling me all those Mary Fallin / State Trooper jokes were illegal? We had no clue! On behalf of The Lost Ogle and internet commenters from around the world, our sincerest apologies go out to Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Anyway, just like with comedy, politics is all about timing. And although I agree that getting rid of these antiquated laws is a good idea, maybe – just maybe – this isn't the best time for the Oklahoma legislature to make it easier for creepy men to seduce virgins. With all the news they've made this legislative session, it just seems very self-serving.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed Senate Bill 286 repealing laws against seducing an unmarried female and imputing unchastity to females. The changes go into effect Nov. 1.
Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, was the author of the legislation, getting it passed after three years of trying.
Griffin said she came across the seduction and slander crimes while trying to educate herself on the law.
That's cute. Oklahoma lawmakers are trying to understand our laws now! You would think that's something they'd do before running for public office, but whatever. I like the enthusiasm!
The main seduction law being repealed makes it a felony for any person to seduce and have "illicit connection with an unmarried female of previous chaste character" under promise of marriage. That law first went on the books in 1910.
The maximum punishment is five years in prison and a $1,000 fine...
Also being repealed is a related law that makes it a more severe felony for a seducer to marry his victim to avoid prosecution then abandon her. That law first went into effect in Oklahoma in 1915. The maximum punishment is 10 years in prison.
Can we keep that last one on the books? It seems like a good excuse to avoid getting married.