Do you know? According to a 1907 law: Adultery is still a crime in New York


Do you know? According to a 1907 law: Adultery is still a crime in New York


Under a 1907 law, adultery is still a crime in New York state, the AP reported. A legislative change is foreseen, after which the text will finally be dropped.

Adultery is still treated as a crime in several US states, although charges in court are rare and convictions even rarer
The legal texts are left over from a time when adultery was still the only legal ground for divorce.

According to the New York law of 1907, the definition of adultery is when “a person whose spouse is alive enters into intimate relations with another”. A relationship with a married man or a married woman is also adultery. Only a few weeks after the law was passed in 1907, a married man and a 25-year-old woman were arrested. The man’s wife has filed for divorce, the New York Times reports.

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Since 1972, only a dozen people have been charged with adultery and only five cases have resulted in a conviction. The last adultery case in New York was filed in 2010.

According to Kathryn B. Silbaugh, a law professor at Boston University, the adultery law was aimed at women to discourage them from having an extramarital affair and thus prevent questions about the actual paternity of children. “Let’s put it this way: patriarchy,” Silbo said.

The change is expected to be considered by the Senate soon, after which it will be advanced to the signature of the governor of the state of New York.

Most states that still have adultery laws treat it as a misdemeanor. However, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan still treat adultery as a felony.

Several states, including Colorado and New Hampshire, have repealed adultery laws, as does New York. The question of whether the ban on adultery does not contradict the Constitution remains open, AP commented.

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