NH Cheaters Rejoice: Adultery May Soon Be Legal
State aims to repeal ban on cheating
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff | Suggested by Amanda.Matznick
Posted Apr 14, 2014 1:25 PM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2014 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Technically, it's a crime to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire, though the anti-adultery law hasn't been enforced in more than 10 years. But soon, you may only need to worry about the moral ramifications of stepping out on your husband or wife, not the potential legal ones. Rep. Tim O'Flaherty, a Democrat, sponsored a House bill to repeal the statute, which dates back to the early 1800s, the AP reports. The House passed the bill, and the state Senate today did the same, USA Today reports; the governor has said she will likely sign it, meaning it would go into effect January 1.

Adultery is currently a misdemeanor punishable by a fine as high as $1,200. O'Flaherty held a public hearing last month on his measure, and the only person to argue in favor of keeping the adultery ban was a man who once attempted to file a criminal adultery complaint against his wife; she was never charged with a crime. His argument: "If we retain adultery as a crime, we may deter an otherwise law-abiding citizen ... from falling into the trap of that repugnant behavior." (Maybe he's also the guy who wrote this letter to the editor arguing for the ban to remain intact?) Interestingly, the anti-adultery law defines adultery as between a man and a woman: "intercourse from which spurious issue [a child born out of wedlock] may arise." Adultery is currently a crime in 21 states.

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Showing 3 of 109 comments
Apr 15, 2014 2:42 PM CDT
They should make it not only perfectly legal but also with no financial consequences. In other words, the spouse can divorce you if they want, but they can't take any money from you. Church vows are obsolete and don't mean anything. The law can't keep two people from being together regardless of what some say. There's nothing immoral about it.
Chris Farley
Apr 15, 2014 8:01 AM CDT
So I dont believe anyone should be criminaly liable for cheating. But legaly and financially, a yes. Sorry, if you break the vows, you should loose your right to half the other persons shit. like the house, car, pensio, 401K. If you want out, leave, seperate, divorce, or whatever is needed. Cheating is an easy way out.
Apr 14, 2014 8:26 PM CDT
It's a sad day when people celebrate bad behavior, especially when it's cheating on a spouse. Just a sad day.