In early 2001, New Mexico's law making cohabitation illegal was repealed. The bill passed the Senate by a 26-5 vote, went through the House, and was finally signed by Governor Gary Johnson. The action followed charges against a couple living together in Los Lunas by the ex-wife of the man. The case drew national attention and was eventually dismissed in April 2000.

The law, enacted in 1963, made it theoretically illegal for couples to live together if they were not married. It had not been used for decades, however. The issue was last raised in 1987 and 1988 when a sheriff of Catron County and subesequently a reverend of Rio Rancho asked for it to be enforced. Their suggestions faded as they were told this was impossible.

The five senators who voted against the bill said they were doing so to strenghten families and marriage. They wanted the cohabitation law to be stricter, if anything.

Other states with such laws are Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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