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Attention, New York Adulterers: Your Sin May Soon No Longer Be a Crime

In the halls of the New York State Capitol, with a budget deadline bearing down, it seems that all that anyone wants to talk about is adultery.

An antiquated but seldom-enforced state law categorizes adultery as a crime, and past efforts to repeal it have gone nowhere. But that seems poised to change.

The Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill to repeal the adultery law last month, and a Senate committee last week moved a matching bill to the floor for a full vote that could come as soon as this week.

The developments have attracted global attention, with the Assembly bill’s sponsor, Charles Lavine, a Democrat from Long Island, fielding interview requests from Europe to South America.

“Any criminal law that penalizes intimate behavior between consenting adults does not deserve to be on the books,” said Mr. Lavine, who added that he has been “happily married” for 54 years.

While adultery is still illegal in a handful of states (in Oklahoma, Michigan and Wisconsin, adultery is considered a felony offense), the vast majority of states repealed their adultery laws long ago or never outlawed it in the first place.

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