Lavine Bill Would Decriminalize Adultery

Albany, New York – You may not realize it, but the act of committing adultery is illegal in New York State. Believing the state has no business regulating consensual sexual behavior between adults, Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore) is trying to change that. Lavine introduced A.4714, to repeal and decriminalize the act of adultery in the State of New York. After passing unanimously through the Codes Committee last week, the bill passed in the full chamber on Monday (3/11/24) by a vote of 137-10 and is now in the hands of the Senate.

Lavine believes the bill is important as it allows for the removal of what he calls an “archaic” piece of law. “This outdated statute criminalizes sexual behavior between consenting adults.” Lavine said. “It is long past time for us to remove it from the penal code. If a law is not enforced, there is no reason it should be maintained,” he added.

Since 1972, only 13 people have been charged with adultery. Of those, only five were convicted of the crime. In virtually every one of those cases, there was some other crime involved, and the prosecuting attorney added adultery as just one of many crimes committed.