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Colorado Senate committee votes to scrap adultery laws

Not many states still have laws forbidding adultery, but Colorado does. While the indiscretion does not carry any criminal penalties and does not seem to be enforced, it is still considered illegal as far as the law is concerned.

Now, state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle feel the adultery law is outdated, and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-1 to repeal it yesterday. Although repealing 19th-century law would make it legal, reports say adultery would still be a factor in divorce proceedings and other family law issues.

According to one senator, repealing the old-time law will probably have little effect on day-to-day operations. In fact, a report prepared for lawmakers showed that no one in Colorado has been convicted of adultery in the past three years. The senator says throwing out the statute is more a way to thin out the books and get rid of unnecessary laws.

The repeal also includes a law prohibiting “promoting sexual immorality,” which makes it illegal to provide a place for premarital sex. This law, most likely intended to regulate flophouses in frontier times, has also been relatively dormant. Less than 20 cases occurred in the last three years.

While just about everyone on the Senate committee was in favor of getting rid of these statutes, one senator voted against the repeal. He has expressed concern that repealing the sexual immorality law could open up some loopholes for prostitution rings and other related criminal activity.

It will be interesting to see how other lawmakers vote on the issue.

Source: San Antonio Express-News, “All-but-forgotten adultery crime could go in Colo.,” Kristen Wyatt, 26 April 2011

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