Letter: Keep anti-adultery law on the books
House Bill 1125 is currently before the New Hampshire Senate. If passed, it would repeal the crime of adultery. A recent Monitor editorial (“Repeal outdated state adultery law,” Feb. 18) encouraged passage of this bill. I disagree.
Adultery should remain a crime. The arguments against it should be unpersuasive. Taxpayers have the right to expect that those who have voluntarily stepped up and sworn to uphold the law will do so. The failure to enforce the law is to law enforcement’s discredit, not an argument to repeal the law.
Examine the law on its merits, not its enforcement. Don’t let the tail wag the dog. The government is already in consenting adults’ bedrooms, and rightly so. Our society doesn’t allow siblings to marry, or have sexual relations, consent or age of majority not withstanding. This type of behavior is repugnant to society’s idea of what a family is and is rightly considered criminal. Adultery is similarly repugnant and also ought to be criminal. Government intrusion in intimate relations should be very limited, but retaining the criminal penalties for adultery is on the proper side of the equation.
Marriage has non-controversial tax, inheritance, and criminal benefits (a spouse can’t be forced to testify in criminal proceedings) bestowed upon it by the government. It is right that conduct injurious to marriage be prohibited. Fellow citizens, please contact your state senators before April 17 and ask them to defeat this bill.
DANIEL J. HAMMOND