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Adultery could be decriminalized in New York soon

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Adultery could soon be decriminalized in New York thanks to efforts by Assemblymember Charles Lavine of Glen Cove. Lavine, pushing for legal reform, introduced bill A.4714 aimed at repealing the law against adultery, arguing that the state should not interfere in consensual adult relationships.

The bill, having successfully passed through the Codes Committee unanimously in early March, garnered significant support in the full chamber, passing with a vote of 137-10. It now awaits consideration by the Senate. Lavine champions the bill as a step towards eliminating outdated legal constraints, emphasizing the need to modernize the penal code to reflect contemporary societal values.

Highlighting the infrequent enforcement of the adultery law, with only 13 individuals charged since 1972 and just five convictions, Lavine argues for the removal of what he terms an “archaic” and largely symbolic statute from New York’s legal framework. This move is seen as a stride towards aligning the law with current social norms and the principle of non-interference in private, consensual adult activities.