The New York State legislature is working towards removing adultery from the penal code, potentially decriminalizing the act.

On Wednesday, April 3, the State Senate voted in favor of the change, with 57 votes supporting the repeal. The current statute imposes a $500 fine or three months in jail for engaging in consensual sexual behavior outside of marriage.

While the law is rarely enforced, its existence has come under scrutiny due to its outdated nature and the questionable enforcement practices surrounding it.

Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a sponsor of the bill, revealed that this century-old law has been applied only around a dozen times, with the most recent occurrence being in 2010. Additionally, statistics indicate that only five convictions have resulted from the law while countless instances of adultery have gone unpunished.

98.1 The Hawk logo
Get our free mobile app

Democratic State Sen. Liz Krueger, another sponsor of the bill, says that the law was more often used as a manipulation tactic, particularly against women seeking divorces. Krueger says removing this law would help address this imbalance and align with the changing societal perceptions of relationships and personal freedom.

The repeal has already gained traction in the legislature's lower chamber, marking a significant step towards its finalization. However, the bill must undergo review by Governor Kathy Hochul's office before becoming law. While Hochul's stance on the issue remains uncertain, her office has confirmed that she will be carefully reviewing the legislation.

As discussions regarding the decriminalization of adultery continue, Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns about the legislature's priorities. They argue that passing a multi-billion dollar spending package and ensuring the state's financial stability should be the focus. Assemblyman Michael Reilly expressed his reservations, emphasizing the need to prioritize essential funding requirements.

Meanwhile, supporters of the bill insist that lawmakers can address multiple issues simultaneously. Senator Krueger emphasized the ability to engage in budget negotiations while debating bills, highlighting the importance of pursuing progress on both fronts.

Stupid New York Laws That Are Still On The Books

Ten More New York Laws That are Weird, But Somehow Still Exist

Some laws make sense, and others do not. New York has its share of laws that make sense, but a few others, that are out-of-touch, and just plain weird.

Gallery Credit: Dan Bahl

More From 98.1 The Hawk