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      Va. House panel backs repeal of cohabitation law

      Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) is sponsor of the bill. Photo: WJLA

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The thousands of unmarried Virginia couples who are living together would no longer be breaking the law under legislation advanced by a House committee.

      The House Courts of Justice Committee on Friday unanimously approved Sen. Adam Ebbin's bill repealing Virginia's 136-year-old law against what the state calls "lewd and lascivious cohabitation." The bill passed in the Senate last month on a 40-0 vote and now faces full House action.

      Ebbin has said census data shows about 140,000 Virginians are cohabitating. The Alexandria Democrat said that the law hasn't been enforced in a very long time and that Virginia is one of four states that make such living arrangements a crime.