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“By the word of God,” North Carolina sheriff bars his deputies from ‘co-habitating’

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A sheriff’s office in North Carolina has effectively banned employees from cohabitating with their significant others before they’re married, creating a question of whether or not the order is constitutional.

Citing “the law and the word of God,” the law enforcement agency reportedly sent out a memo notifying staff that unmarried employees can no longer reside with people they are related or in a relationship with unless they are married.

“The policy has been changed in reference to Cohabitation,” the memo read. “The policy change will be distributed on Monday. It will be prohibited for you to live with another while employed at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office unless you are officially married according to the law and word of God, [emphasis added] sisters, brothers, or family by blood. This shall not apply to those whom are currently cohabitating. However, if your current relationship with the other party should cease, you will comply with the new policy change.”

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the policy has been challenged by the advocacy agency, which has demanded the agency cease the “unconstitutional” policy.

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