Yes, you are reading that headline correctly: A measure proposed in Massachusetts would make it illegal for parents in the midst of divorce proceedings to engage in "a dating or sexual relationship" with anyone within the marital home. The mandate would apply not only until a divorce is final but until "all financial and custody issues are resolved." Is Massachusetts nanny statism trying to parody itself?
It seems highly improbable this bill could pass the state legislature, let alone stand up in court. And even in some bizarro universe where this could hold up, I'm not sure how it could possibly be enforced (though it could sure muck up custody battles a little more).
Still, I thought it was worth sharing as a particularly egregious example of politicians' overreach and arrogance. State Sen. Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) is behind Senate Bill 787, filed "by request" on behalf of one of his constituents. Here's the full text:
In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.
According to MALegislature.gov, it's been referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
Update: In the wake of the negative publicity this bill has been getting, Sen. Ross just issued a statement stressing that SB 787 was filed by request and that he is not the sponsor of this legislation nor does he endorse it. "First and foremost, I believe in the democratic process and true representation of the people," said Ross. "For that reason, when a constituent requested that I file a free petition on his behalf, I did so."