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Adultery definition expanded to include same-sex couples

April 2, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Supreme Court has expanded the definition of adultery to include same-sex infidelity.

The court ruled Thursday in the case of a man who sought a divorce on the grounds of adultery alleging that his wife had an affair with another woman. A lower court dismissed his petition based on a 2003 state Supreme Court opinion that limited the definition of adultery to intercourse between people of the opposite sex.

But the Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision, saying the old definition is inconsistent with the Legislature’s enactment of same-sex marriage in 2009.

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“It defies logic to suggest that our legislature and the Supreme Court recognized the rights of same-sex couples to enter into legally valid marriages without also intending that same-sex couples be endowed with all of the responsibilities, protections, and grounds for divorce that are associated with the legal status of marriage,” justices wrote in a unanimous decision.

The divorce case at issue was sent back to the lower court for further action.