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Effort to Remove Outdated Adultery Law Fails in Virginia

The legislation of morality continues despite Virginia's outlier status.

RingsVaishak Suresh / FlickrLast week, the Virginia Senate killed a bill that would have decriminalized adultery in the state—voiding a law that has been used to tack criminal penalties onto more than eight cases over the past decade.

Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D–Fairfax), SB 174 would have reduced adultery from a criminal issue to a civil one, maintaining the small associated fine (no more than $250). As it currently stands, adultery is a Class 4 misdemeanor. Although this might not sound like severe government intrusion at first glance, Virginia is a stubborn outlier compared to other states, 13 of which have repealed similar adultery statutes in recent years. Today, only about a dozen states still treat the act as a crime.

The bill was killed after minimal debate, with several notable Democrats (including former gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds of the 25th District) voting against it. If passed, SB 174 would not have had a significant fiscal impact on the state, but as divorce attorneys in Virginia point out, a criminal adultery conviction can affect how assets are divided up in divorce proceedings as well as alimony payments.

Additionally, the fact that the matter remains criminal often complicates divorce proceedings, as it allows cheating spouses to plead the Fifth and protect themselves against self-incrimination. For this reason, Surovell’s bill was endorsed by Family Foundation, a social conservative organization focused on promoting a "biblical worldview" that believes demoting the matter to a civil issue would provide more recourse for wronged spouses.

Albeit rarely used, the adultery statute still affects ordinary people and forces the state's legal system to commit time and resources to enforcing morality. John R. Bushey Jr. of Luray, a prominent lawyer, was convicted under the adultery statute in 2004. Exhausted from a long legal battle after much flip-flopping between guilty and innocent pleas, Bushey finally accepted community service. The case generated widespread pushback againt the outdated law. As Jonathon Turley wrote for The Washington Post that year:

Imagine the work for the courts if prosecutors vigorously enforced the laws against fornication, which is generally defined as premarital sex -- a crime that a 1988 study found was practiced by more than 75 percent of women and more than 80 percent of men by the age of 19.

Despite Maryland's modest $10 adultery fine and D.C.'s complete removal of adultery laws from the books, Virginia remains firmly committed to intruding in people's lives over moral questions like adultery.

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  • The Tone Police||

    I semi-seriously think adultery is a form of fraud, and therefore an act of aggression, and is justifiably punished by law.

    Anyway, I have no pity for John Bushey. If he wanted some strange, he should have manned up and gotten a divorce.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Sure, if it's done without permission. Swinging, on the other hand....

  • Hugh Akston||

    I feel like a libertarian dance crew would really clean up at competitions because they are so adept at contorting straightforward political principles into any shape they want to justify legislating their personal moral intuitions.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You just got served.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Hugh Akston||

    Close, but it's actually gonna be this one

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I can't do the stanky leg to that.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Don't blame your lack of talent on the music, man.

  • The Tone Police||

    so it's a victimless thing, you think?

    I mean, I know you don't have meaningful relationships, Hugh, but you don't have to project your loneliness on the rest of us. Some people are actually harmed by a breach of contract...which last I checked, was something libertarians were concerned with.

  • SugarFree||

    It is a victimless crime. The hurt spouse is an externality, not a victim. Married people don't own each other's genitals.

  • The Tone Police||

    The hurt spouse detrimentally relied on the promise of fidelity. emotional distress is actionable. maybe not a crime, though, but still, I'll defend syphilitic OWSers right to occupy a public park before I defend some guy or gal who's so immature they can't keep in their pants because promises are toooooo haaaarrd...

  • SugarFree||

    A one-sided divorce causes just as much hurt and distress. Are we going to disallow those as well?

  • JW||

    I don't understand the need to retaliate using agents of the state to do so for infidelity.

    Infidelity sucks. I've been the victim of it as well.

    Hurt feelings aren't a criminal act.

  • JW||

    /edit

    "Hurt feelings aren't cause for a criminal act."

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Criminal acts are OK when your feelings are hurt!!

    *runs to safe space

    /prog

  • It's all sausage to me||

    "emotional distress is actionable."

    So, is marriage a "safe space"?

  • ||

    My spouse promised to empty the dishwasher the other day and do a load of laundry. When I came home I found out she had taken the dogs for a walk instead. My feelings were hurt and I want her arrested!

  • ||

    My wife claims she owns mine, and if I ever use them outside marriage, she'll repossess them with extreme prejudice.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    #humblebrag

  • ||

    She and your wife gave each other the recognition sign, so if I were you, I'd have all the sharp objects removed from your home.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah but how much of a threat is a 10 year old?

  • Hugh Akston||

    See my comment below. Marriage is not a contract between two people. if people have their feelings hurt during the course of a relationship, it's not the place of the state to intervene any more than it would be the states place to make sure everyone has a date for the prom.

  • Zeb||

    If a marriage contract is breached, the recourse is divorce, no? Extra criminal penalties seem out of place and excessive.

    Strictly speaking, of course there is a victim (assuming that the adultery was done without permission from the other spouse). But if that rises to the level of criminality, then people who cheat on partners who they aren't married to should face the same penalties as they are causing the same harm.

    And I don't recall anything about sexual exclusivity explicitly being mentioned in any of the legal documents I signed when I got married. Of course that was the understanding.

  • Seamus||

    There may not have been a writing involved, but I've been to a lot of weddings where the parties made mutual oral promises that entailed "forsaking all others."

  • Zeb||

    And if they do, then they have an oral contract, anyway. But getting legally married doesn't really even require any vows at all.

    Still, it's a breach of contract and divorce is the recourse.

  • Agammamon||

    How do you get *fraud* from *breach of contract - which is a *tort* for everything else.

    This shouldn't even be a civil infraction with a fine, its should be a civil court issue only.

  • ||

    Plus I'm a really good dancer.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    When was the last time you Dougied?

  • ||

    Last week, actually.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Semi.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nikki is all about the Melbourne Shuffle.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Looks like 50% Clogging, 50% Candy Raving.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yeah, basically.

  • ||

    It is really more a civil rather than criminal fraud though, really just a breach of contract.

  • Lee G||

    This.

    Having said that, Eddie will be along in a moment with his theories.

  • ||

    Brilliant! I think you may have driven him away. Of course he's probably sulking somewhere because of the massive discrediting of the Center for Medical Progress.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Marriage isn't a contract between two people, it's a status conferred by the state. So if anything, adultery is a crime against the state, and therefore tantamount to treason.

  • some guy||

    But when you sign for a marriage license, it doesn't say on the license that you promise to not commit adultery. The adultery law in VA is separate from the licensing altogether. Pretty much the only thing you promise when getting the license is that you're not already married to someone else.

  • The Tone Police||

    given that the Commonwealth gives you the license, one assumes 'following the law' does not need to be explicitly stated.

  • some guy||

    Following the law never needs to be explicitly stated. So what? My point is that the penalties for adultery in VA flow from the adultery law, not from the marriage license, so it doesn't matter if the license is a contract between two people or a status conferred by the state. Without the law, adultery wouldn't be a crime against the state, nor a breach of contract between two people.

  • Zeb||

    But the question here is whether the law is a good one. Of course you are legally obliged to follow the law. That's what laws are.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You're legally obliged to suffer the consequences that your lawyer can't get you out of if you happen to get caught not obeying the law. That's what laws are.

  • Zeb||

    That's what "legally obliged" means in my mind. Please don't mistake me for someone who thinks that laws and government are real things.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Fair enough.

  • Agammamon||

    But it says on the license that you'll obey any marriage laws the state makes up and that the state can change those laws at a moment's notice and on a whim.

    Its like joining the military in a way. And further illustrates why its a bad idea to contract with the only guys that are allowed to kill people with impunity.

    I have altered the deal, pray I do not alter it further.

  • ||

    This. Ugh. Don't get state married, people.

  • ||

    This cannot be stressed enough.

  • Zeb||

    That would work great if my wife didn't need health insurance.

  • some guy||

    Or for legal immigration, or for tax breaks if one of you is a homemaker, or to smooth the transition of property when one of you passes, etc. etc.

  • ||

    Then have fun dancing to the state's tune, and I'll thank you for continuing to participate in the facade of legitimacy.

  • Zeb||

    Legitimacy? I don't get it.

  • Zeb||

    See, what happened is my employer told me that they aren't going to compensate me like they do other similarly situated people unless I jump through these hoops called "legal marriage". The likely alternative was that my wife would need to become part of a much worse and more intrusive world of government bullshit and/or debt collectors.

    The tax code discriminates terribly against unmarried people.

  • some guy||

    Some of the benefits can make it worthwhile.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Like the fine physique of a well-trained show poodle. Jump through the hoop, boy, and you'll get a treat!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Just think how glorious Tone Police's world would be, nicole. Since the penalty for treason is death, you could hang adulterers' bodies from the lamp posts in the street with signs reading sic semper infidus.

  • The Tone Police||

    you just wait until the Trumpenfurher makes it so.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Out of all the possible things, adultery is the one thing which I think would receive protection in a Trump presidency/dictatorship. Hell, I half-expect him to publicly take a mistress once in office!

  • ||

    Unless there is a contract that explicitly states "no cheating" as part of the terms of the contract...nope. If it's just implied, that's not good enough. Just another reason why state-sanctioned marriage is moronic.

  • The Tone Police||

    Why is an implied provision insufficient? When you enter into a contract for say, a phone, does it need to say in there that the phone won't blow up? That's implied. There are a lot of implied terms in contracts. Adultery is an implied breach that is specifically waivable, which is why swinging is considered unusual (that is, outside the norm of normal contracts).

    what level of autism demands a simple social contract to have every bit of possible reality articulated in 100+ pages of tiny text?

  • SugarFree||

    Who gets a criminal sanction for a implied law?

  • The Tone Police||

    two different subjects. Episiarch was stating that "no adultery" must be explicitly stated for it be a valid expectation in a marriage, which is ridiculous.

  • SugarFree||

    It depends if adultery is breach of contract or a breach of etiquette. If you want it to be a breach of contract, have it in the contract.

    Criminal penalties remain insane in either case.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Lee G||

    Does buggering little boys count as adultery? Or is that just recreation?

  • SugarFree||

    Adultery was much more about parentage than mere infidelity. So probably not Lee. Bugger on you pervert diamond.

  • Lee G||

    +1 Afghan Warlord

  • ||

    Did someone call my name?

  • ||

    [buzkazi applause]

  • ||

    ^That was for Lee G in Room 222

  • Agammamon||

    If you're going to have a *criminal* sanction - then yes, *everything* that is subject to a criminal sanction needs to be explicitly laid out in the contract.

  • ||

    Cheating or not cheating isn't "every bit of possible reality". It's actually one of the ones that would theoretically be at the top of the fucking list for many, many people. You're being disingenuous.

    Also, your phone contract covers "phone blowing up" with things like "unexpected malfunctions" or whatever. But again, for you to compare "phone blowing up" with "no cheating" in terms of where they would be in a contract is really kind of a mendacious argument, dude.

  • The Tone Police||

    yes, and since it's at the top of the list, why does it need to be stated explicitly? It's like if you call up to get a hooker named Dolly and they send you a sheep - do you have to state the hooker needs to be human? Of course not - that's the general expectation. Exceptions have to be stated; the normal does not. Fidelity is a general expectation of marriage.

  • ||

    Um, no it isn't. There are plenty of people who have open marriages or just don't care, and your implicit expectation is completely irrelevant to them. There is a reason big fucking deals are explicitly stated in contracts. You don't implicitly state what plan you have with your phone carrier, because it's sort of one of the biggest deals of the contract. And in any marriage contract, whether cheating is allowed or not would also need to be explicitly stated, because it's one of the biggest deals of the contract.

    Expectations are bullshit and not binding. Because they are just expectations and don't mean shit. Do you have an expectation that your spouse is going to do all the work around the house? And if they don't? But you already know that, you just want to have a little eristic fun, apparently.

  • JW||

    Fidelity is a general expectation of marriage.

    No, it's not.

    But the condition of one's marriage is no business of the state, unless it's a dispute between the parties as cause to dissolve the marriage. Even then, it can be privately arbitrated.

  • ||

    It's like if you call up to get a hooker named Dolly and they send you a sheep - do you have to state the hooker needs to be human?

    Nothing says libertarianism and NAP like, "I took your money and gave you a sheep, so what?"

    Next thing you know Epi will be advocating for the adoption of affirmative consent practices among sheepfuckers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Breach of contract.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Unless a bridesmaid is waiting for you in the coat room, its not fraud - intentional misrepresentation to induce someone into an agreement for personal gain.

    It's fairly considered a breach of the marriage contract.

  • Rasilio||

    You are incorrect.

    Adultry is in no way shape or form fraud, unless you could prove that the adulterous party went into the marriage actively planning to commit adultry and not informing his intended of this fact.

    What adultry would be is breech of contract which is not a criminal matter but rather a civil one which the courts should absolutely be able to provide remedies for, but outside of the contract enforcement part the government has no legitimate role to play with adultry.

  • Seamus||

    And yet marriage is one contract that may be breached without any obligation to make the injured party whole (by which I mean to say you can seek and obtain a unilateral dissolution of the marriage that will leave your spouse off worse financially that he or she (usually she) would have been but for the breach).

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    The reason these kinds of laws stay on the books isn't due to any kind of moralization. It's so there's another law out there that people can potentially break and prosecutors/cops can choose to hold over their heads for political reasons.

  • The Tone Police||

    well no. because if that were the case, there would be a lot more prosecutions, or at least indictments.

  • Lee G||

    Deeds is an asshole who is suing the state for 6M because he says they wouldn't confine his nutbar son who then went on to stab Deeds and kill himself.

  • ||

    Although a judge had issued an involuntary commitment order for Gus, and despite an intensive search, no available hospital bed could be found to provide him mental health treatment in the days before the attempted murder and he was released home without the ordered treatment. -Wikipedia article on Deeds

    So, it's a bit more complicated than "because he says they wouldn't." I think the state was obligated to lock him up if he was credibly threatening others. And you know that someone would have sued on his behalf were he taken to the county lockup instead of the loony bin. Unknown if the family tried to find bedspace in a private facility, but that is an option that is not available to everyone.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D–Fairfax), SB 174 would have reduced adultery from a criminal issue to a civil one, maintaining the small associated fine (no more than $250).

    So the best Libertarian moment Surovell could offer is to reduce adultery to a civil fine?

    Was this a compromise on Surovell's part or was he really unable to bring himself to strike the law entirely?

  • John||

    If he struck the law, cheating spouses could no longer take the 5th. The more I think about this, the more I think this vote was about making sure the family courts remained firmly slanted towards women. The only real affect this law has is to make it hard to prove adultery in divorce cases and the only affect that has is to make it harder to avoid alimony. And who mostly benefits from alimony? Women.

  • John||

    The linked article about the effect of adultery on divorce settlements makes me think something else is going on here besides social conservatism. It says in part

    It is only on the issue of spousal support that adultery usually has a tremendous impact....And then we come to the issue of alimony or “spousal support” as it is called in Virginia. This is the one area where proving a case of adultery may be extremely useful in your divorce. Proving adultery by your spouse will usually prevent him or her from receiving any spousal support whatsoever from you.

    In most divorce cases it is wives that get alimony not husbands. So eliminating adultery as a crime would make proving adultery a whole lot easier since the opposing party would no longer be able to take the 5th on the subject. If adultery isn't a crime, you can just ask the cheating spouse and they would either have to risk perjury or give up their right to alimony.

    Considering that Democrats also voted to keep this law, could this be a case of the pussy lobby keeping its tight grip on the family courts?

    I honestly can't think of another reason for this. Even the SOCON organizations want it killed. Maybe the legislators want to go back to 17th Century Salem but I doubt it. Something else is going on here.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This is actually a good catch. But how do other states without adultery laws, that are not 'no-fault' states deal with this? Surely there's some burden of proof that has to be reached-- and a good living to be made as a private dick?

  • John||

    If it is a no fault state, adultery doesn't bar you from getting support. So proving adultery is not an issue. It is only an issue in Virginia because Virginia is one of the few states that bars cheating spouses from support.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But I'm asking how other non no-fault (do they get called 'fault'?) states handle proving infidelity as a factor in the divorce when there's no criminal statute for adultery?

  • John||

    Easy. You prove it the same way you prove any other contested fact. Adultery means sexual intercourse. It doens't mean oral sex or trading naked pictures or going out to dinner and making out. It means intercourse. Proving intercourse without talking to the people involved is well neigh impossible unless they admit to it in an email or text. So the ability to claim the 5th and not answer questions about it is a huge advantage to a cheating spouse looking to get support in divorce proceeding. Get rid of adultery as a crime, then you can ask them directly "did you have sex" and they have to answer or risk perjury. More importantly, the person they cheated with has to answer. While the spouse may risk perjury to ensure they get support, it is unlikely the person they had sex with will. Their lover isn't getting any money.

    The bottom line is getting criminal adultery off the books makes it a whole lot easier to prove adultery in court and bar cheating spouses from getting support. And that is mostly going to affect women.

  • ||

    The bottom line is getting criminal adultery off the books makes it a whole lot easier to prove adultery in court and bar cheating spouses from getting support. And that is mostly going to affect women.

    Citation needed.

  • John||

    Have you now devolved to the point Nikki that you are too stupid to use google? Has it gotten that bad?

    According to 2010 Census records, of the 400,000 people receiving spousal support, only 3 percent were men.

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....AW20131224

    Do you honestly think that more men get alimony or that I wouldn't spend 30 seconds getting a citation that made you look like an idiot?

  • ||

    Did you seriously miss the giant extra assumption you made, that more women cheat than men?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    SFed it.

  • John||

    I made no such assumption Nikki. The assumption is that the vast majority of spouses who get alimony are women. Therefore, the vast majority of people adversely affected by ending the criminalization of adultery are going to be women. It doesn't matter how many men cheat. Changing the law will affect very few of them because almost no men are entitled to alimony.

    I have no idea how many more or fewer men cheat than women and make no claim to know because it has nothing to do with my point. The point is that of those who cheat, it is much more likely women who stand will lose something in the divorce over it because they are the ones who are most likely to be entitled to alimony. And losing your right to alimony, in Virginia at least, is the major result of proving adultery in a divorce.

    Do you understand what I mean now?

  • ||

    The point is that of those who cheat, it is much more likely women who stand will lose something in the divorce over it because they are the ones who are most likely to be entitled to alimony.

    Yes, OF THOSE WHO CHEAT. Which wasn't something you specified in any prior post. Your prior post referred to "the pussy lobby" and "wives" and "women." For all you know, more women would get alimony under the altered situation, and fewer men would.

    Do you understand why you're a sexist dick now?

  • John||

    I don't know how else to explain it to you Nikki. Lee G gets it below. What you are saying makes no sense and you apparently didn't follow my argument.

    I can't respond to your points when they completely misunderstand my argument. There is really nothing to say in response other than to re-explain my argument, which I have done three times now.

    Just forget it. Move on to a different thread.

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you understand why you're a sexist dick now?

    That would require a certain amount of self-awareness combined with honesty.

  • John||

    On Nikki's part Sure sarcasmic. Meanwhile, everyone else who is reading this understands how Nikki completely missed the point.

    Do yourself a favor and just yell RED TONY or something.

  • sarcasmic||

    Do yourself a favor and just yell RED TONY or something.

    I wouldn't want to insult Tony.

  • John||

    Or take the stick out of your ass. Do you not understand how Nikki misunderstood my point? And if you do, then what is your problem? Why are you on here whining when it is clear Nikki is the one who missed the point?

  • John||

    I didn't specify that in my first post Nikki because there was no reason to.

  • Lee G||

    John's point stands. If 97% of alimony recipients are women, then men would have to cheat at a rate many, many times higher than women for adultery to not impact the outcomes in divorce proceedings.

  • kinnath||

    It doesn't matter if cheating is 50/50 or not. If 97% of people receiving spousal support are women, then any change in the law that makes it easier to deny spousal support will then affect women 30 times more often than men.

  • John||

    I don't care if you disagree Nikki. Hell maybe you are right if you do. But God damn at least try and understand my argument. More and more on here people seem to have lost the ability to follow basic logic.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    California's not a no-fault divorce state, right? And surely California doesn't have adultery laws.

  • ||

    CA is no fault. Or more realistically, "always the man's fault."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Wait, CA is no fault? How did I not know this? What's with all the divorce-trial movies in California? Is there no money to be made as a divorce attorney in ca?

  • ||

    Oh, there's a shit-ton of divorce lawyer money there. My ex-wife's attorney and mine both have shiny new BMWs courtesy of my life savings.

  • ||

    Sorry, buddy.

  • ||

    That's why I shifted my attention to children.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Oh, there's a shit-ton of divorce lawyer money there. My ex-wife's attorney and mine both have shiny new BMWs courtesy of my life savings.

    Wait... never mind... I'm also mixing in "community property". California's not a community property state.

  • ||

    Yes, it is a community property state.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yes, it is a community property state.

    Huh, then what the hell is the dispute? Determining what counts as community property?

  • ||

    Determining how much of everything you ever make in the future is hers. Determining what happens to the kid(s). Determining who pays the lawyers. Determining how to divide up the retirement. Determining how life insurance is going to work. Having the pre-nup tossed out so that more, more, more can be extracted. And probably ten more things that I can't remember because of my total rage-blindness that this line of thought brought on.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Having the pre-nup tossed out so that more, more, more can be extracted. And probably ten more things that I can't remember because of my total rage-blindness that this line of thought brought on.

    Sounds like someone forgot to remain single.

  • ||

    and a good living to be made as a private dick?

    I make a very good living as a private dick. But CA is proof that you don't have to have adultery in the mix in order to have a legal system designed and operated to screw men over.

  • ||

    The part of that lobby that most wants this no longer has a tight grip, if you know what I mean.

  • Rich||

    Imagine the work for the courts if prosecutors vigorously enforced the laws against fornication

    *** rising intonation ***

    I see an end to unemployment.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Judging by the recent history of these laws, they are impractical. They only seem to be invoked very, very selectively. And probably not out of a generalized zeal for public morality.

    I wouldn't want an adulterous spouse to suffer a criminal conviction. I would, however, want the innocent, betrayed spouse to have the right to get sole custody of the children, plus exemption from any duty of cohabitation or spousal support.

    Cue the inevitable "but what if the adulterous spouse is the fitter parent, should't he/she get the kids."

    Heck, no. If the mother is the fitter parent and cares about her kids, she shouldn't be cheating on their father. And vice versa if the father is the fitter parent.

    Incidentally, according to the bill, the adultery fine would go into Virginia's Literary Fund "for public school purposes," just like the proceeds of other fines.* Private schools and home schools need not apply.

    *Except the proceeds of drug seizures, which "shall be distributed by law for the purpose of promoting law enforcement."

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's worth stating explicitly that parenting fitness has nothing whatsoever to do with sexual relationships. Shockingly, your blinkered moralism doesn't take into account the diversity of circumstances under which people marry, stay married, and have sex with one another.

  • John||

    The most likely person to molest a kid is a boyfriend of girlfriend of one of the biological parents. There are cases where people molest their biological kids but they are outliers even among pedophiles. Contrary to what cable news tells you, most kids who are molested are molested by someone they know and that is often the significant other of a divorced parent. Why wouldn't it be? If you were into kids, how better to get access than by dating a single custody parent?

    Given that fact, I would say the tendency of one parent to fuck around a lot is very relevant in who is the better parent.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So if I understand you correctly, cheating spouses serve up their kids to predators after a divorce, while the cheated-on spouses take lifelong vows of chastity in service of their kids?

  • John||

    No you don't understand me Lee. Let me try again and use smaller words this time so maybe you will understand. No parent willingly serves up their kid to a molester. But the people who do that dont' exactly wear signs announcing themselves. So it is simply a numbers game. The more people you fuck and drag through your house, the more likely one of them is going to be there to fuck with your kids. It is really that simple.

    So if it is a choice between one parent who never or rarely fucks around and another parent who fucks around a lot, all things being equal, the kid is better off with the parent who doesn't fuck around.

    Is that the only factor? No. Maybe the parent who doesn't fuck around is a uniquely awful parent for some reason. But assuming they are both equally committed to the kid, the less fucking around the better.

  • It's all sausage to me||

    Please tell me those posts were satire.

  • John||

    Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. Children who live with two married biological parents are at low risk for abuse. The risk increases when children live with step-parents or a single parent. Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents (Sedlack, et. al., 2010).

    http://cachouston.org/child-sexual-abuse-facts/

    What about this do you find funny?

  • It's all sausage to me||

    The automatic presumption that a cheating spouse will result in a molested child is kind of laughable. I wonder where else we could apply such "reasoning"? Black? More likely to commit a crime. Don't let them buy guns!

    I feel like I stumbled into a socon site like Townhall, where any form of perceived immorality must be punished criminally.

  • John||

    The automatic presumption that a cheating spouse will result in a molested child is kind of laughable.

    That is true. I am not making that assumption. No where did I say anything like that. Go back and read what I said. I said.

    So it is simply a numbers game. The more people you fuck and drag through your house, the more likely one of them is going to be there to fuck with your kids. It is really that simple.

    So if it is a choice between one parent who never or rarely fucks around and another parent who fucks around a lot, all things being equal, the kid is better off with the parent who doesn't fuck around

    How in the world could you read that and think that I am making the automatic assumption that a cheating spouse will result in a molested child?

    I am being honest here. Are we reading different blogs? How could you possibly think I am making that assumption?

  • John||

    Will automatically result in a molested child. I will tell you the same thing I told Niki, I can't respond to your points when they make no sense in relation to mine and assume I am saying something I clearly didn't.

  • SugarFree||

    I feel like I stumbled into a socon site like Townhall, where any form of perceived immorality must be punished criminally.

    It's really just the one troll and none of us like him anyway.

  • John||

    What about what I said was wrong SF? The numbers speak for themselves. And I never said that a cheating spouse automatically results in anything. I said it was a numbers game.

    Is anything about that wrong? Seriously, why is that trolling? I honest to God do not see how that is trolling. What makes it trolling other than you have decided so?

    You have decided I am a troll but you never seem to want to explain why. I see the above as a legitimate point as to why a court might consider one spouse fucking around to be relevant to custody. Why is that not only wrong but trolling?

    I would really like you to give an explanation for that.

  • John||

    You have no answer do you SF? Have you no decided that any argument no matter how well reasoned that doesn't suit your delicate tastes is now trolling? Is no dissent allowed now?

    If that isn't your position, then explain why my point is trolling rather than just an argument and a statement of fact you don't like. If you are going to call someone a troll at least back it up instead of running off and hiding like Tony or Joe.

  • SugarFree||

    I was driving home. And talking about Eddie in the first place.

  • John||

    Fair enough. My mistake., I apologize.

  • Rasilio||

    Sorry folks John isn't trolling here.

    I don't agree with his position on this specific issue for several reasons I'll get into in a bit but people are being ridiculously and I'd argue intentionally obtuse in using his words to build up straw men to attack.

    Anyone with half a brain could see that in this subthread he us clearly arguing that a single parent who has a lot of sex partners will increase the risk their kids will be molested. This is a completely inarguable fact that only a moron could confuse with stating that all stepparents will rape their stepkids.

    No where John gets is wrong is in the assumption that the increased risk is significant. Sure kids with live in non parents are more likely to be abused but given how small the risk is the increase wouldn't be more than a tiny factor in measuring which parent should receive custody. Sure, all other things being equal I could see it being the deciding factor but it would be just about the last thing on the list to be considered when determining custody.

    He is also wrong in assuming that the adulterous parent is the one more likely to be "fucking around"

  • Eric||

    "Given that fact, I would say the tendency of one parent to fuck around a lot is very relevant in who is the better parent."

    Yes and no. It shows a lack of conviction and potentially moral shortcomings. But I know of many instances where a wife steps out on her husband because he's never around. Many men put their careers above family, and that can make for a very frustrated/lonely woman. In this case, who's the better parent? The never around Dad, or the Mom who cheated on him?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I don't see the morality of awarding sole custody to an adulterer or an adulteress.

    Why should somebody who has done nothing wrong, who has fulfilled his/her duties as a spouse and as a parent, be stripped of the basic human right of raising his/her own children?

    Talk about blinkered.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I don't even see the morality of awarding *any* kind of custody, even only partial, to an adulterer/adulteress to the detriment of the innocent spouse.

    You value your new relationship more than your family? OK, then, go and have fun with your new flame. Leave the faithful spouse to have the kids.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Because, again, sexual activity has nothing to do with parental fitness. I'm sure there are many people out there who are exemplary teachers and caregivers in the streets and freaks between the sheets.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    My emphasis is on the fact that an innocent spouse, someone who has fulfilled his or her duties as a spouse and a parent, should *not* be stripped, in whole in part, of their custody over their kids.

    Here's where the 9th Amendment might come in handy. Of course the right to raise one's own children is a constitutional right, forfeitable only in cases of misconduct.

  • John||

    The problem is that you are assuming the non cheating spouse is innocent. Maybe they are but that is hardly certain. What if the non cheating spouse is an emotionally abusive horrific person who basically drove the other to cheat? Sometimes the cheating spouse is the most wrong but that is hardly always the case.

    And you also assume that just because the cheating spouse is the only one cheating. No, the "cheating spouse" in this case is just the one that there was proof. The other may be just as guilty but be savvy or lucky enough to avoid it being proven in court.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's a good point. The infidelity may have been brought on because the other spouse chose to withhold sex. Yes, in a perfect world, he or she should have sought divorce before finding another sexual partner.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I would use innocence in the context of the long-recognized justifications for for-cause divorce.

    For example, if both sides are cheating, what I said doesn't apply. There is no innocent spouse.

    And a husband who beats his wife isn't innocent, either.

    Etc.

    That was the sense in which I was *trying* to use the term "innocent." If I didn't express the point clearly, it's my fault.

  • John||

    But if the non cheating spouse is not innocent, then your point doesn't apply.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    That's what I said, isn't it?

  • John||

    But if we can't tell then why does adultery ever matter so much as a rule?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I'm sorry to say I don't quite get your point. :(

  • John||

    I am saying that as a practical matter who the "innocent spouse" is, is not always determined who who committed adultery. Consequently, you really can't make a rule or shouldn't make a rule that says "people who commit adultery should not get custody over those who don't". Adultery like anything else is just one more factor that may or may not be dispositive.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Consequently, you really can't make a rule or shouldn't make a rule that says "people who commit adultery should not get custody over those who don't"."

    I guess I should have been more clear.

    *If* there's an innocent spouse who fulfilled all his/her marital and parental duties - don't cheat, don't physically abuse your spouse and kids, don't become a wretched drug addict* - should keep all his/her parental rights.

    But I think I specified that if there *is* no innocent spouse, the above doesn't apply. If one spouse is an adulterer and another is a physical abuser, they are both eligible to lose parental rights, and the court's job is to decide whom to deprive of what rights in a way that best helps the children.

    *as opposed to casual user

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm sure there are many people out there who are exemplary teachers and caregivers in the streets and freaks between the sheets.

    Well, my ears are burning now...

  • Hugh Akston||

    You are a freak. They make a cream for that, don't they?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • It's all sausage to me||

    Why should someone whose only "crime" was to have intercourse with someone other than their spouse, be stripped of the BASIC human right of raising his/her own children?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    If you're going to strip one spouse of those rights, in whole in part, whose rights do you take away - the rights of the innocent spouse or the rights of the guilty spouse?

  • It's all sausage to me||

    Why are you stripping ANYONE'S rights away?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    How would you deal with two hostile spouses, living apart, each of whom wants to bring up the kids?

    Some has to be denied some or all of what they want.

  • It's all sausage to me||

    Joint and equal custody isn't an option? Or if you cheat once you forever lose your kids? Please tell me I'm misreading what you're putting down.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    You're misreading what I put down numerous times: An spouse who has fulfilled *all* of his/her marital and parental duties should *not* be deprived, in whole or in part, of the constitutional right to direct the upbringing of his or her children.

    If *neither* spouse has fulfilled all their marital/parental duties (all duties, not just the duty to be sexually faithful), then let the courts figure out how much to limit each party's right of custody, based on the intersts of the children.

    If there's an innocent spouse and a guilty spouse, then let the innocent spouse, not the courts, decide whether to have joint and equal custody, or in general decide how to involve the other spouse in the kids' lives.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    And if the couple reconciles - that is, "I know you committed adultery but let's have sex anyway" - then I'd say the adulterous spouse's behavior can no longer be held against him/her.

  • It's all sausage to me||

    So you ARE hanging parental rights based on marital fidelity.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I'm just saying that sexual fidelity is only one of several marital and parental duties, and when I say "innocent spouse" I mean they need to have fulfilled *all* those duties.

  • See.More||

    I'm just saying that sexual fidelity is only one of several marital and parental duties...

    Who the fuck are you to decide that?

    What about swingers? Non-monogamists? "Open" relationships? Couples with disparate sex drives (ie "sexless marriages") where the hornier spouse is given permission to seek release elsewhere? Or military spouses that have permission while deployed but not at home?

  • It's all sausage to me||

    " when I say "innocent spouse" I mean they need to have fulfilled *all* those duties."

    Including giving up the pussy, right?

  • Rasilio||

    Who said they fulfilled their duties as a spouse?

    I know a guy who is having an affair on his wife because she hasn't had sex with him in close to 5 years and doesn't want to have anything to do with counseling.

    Sure, he's wrong for not just leaving her and being honest about things but can you really say that she has fulfilled her duties as a spouse?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I think I've already fleshed out my views in the above discussion.

    It sounds like neither spouse in the case you mention is innocent.

    One of them committed adultery, the other refuses to perform a basic marital duty.

    Thus, my discussion of the rights of an innocent spouse doesn't apply in this case.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I'm talking about the way the law ought to be, not the way it actually is. :(

  • It's all sausage to me||

    "One of them committed adultery, the other refuses to perform a basic marital duty."

    And now you're saying sex is a duty of marriage? Good grief.

  • It's all sausage to me||

    Are you going to say next that if a woman doesn't bear a son for the husband, he can have her arrested?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Are you going to say next that if a woman doesn't bear a son for the husband, he can have her arrested?"

    Lay off the crack, I said nothing of the sort.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I was answering Rasilio's question about the woman who wouldn't have sex with her husband, "can you really say that she has fulfilled her duties as a spouse?"

    No, I can't say that.

  • It's all sausage to me||

    So she owes her pussy up as a duty. Lovely view of marriage you have.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Because why should people living under Sharia have all the fun?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Dibs on the new intern.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    You want to have to pay into the public school fund (see above)?

  • ||

  • sarcasmic||

    She is kinda cute, assuming this is her.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethlwolfe

  • ||

    She's getting quite an initiation into the commenter culture here.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    There's one handle in particular that might stand out.

  • SugarFree||

    They don't warn them. They let a guy named Steve Smith loose in here without telling him about STEVE SMITH. They basically used him as chum.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Disgusting. That's hardly setting the proper example.

  • Liz Wolfe||

    Already initiated--if nobody's called me a Marxist, it's been a pleasant comment thread. http://studentsforliberty.org/.....ch-purism/

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Hello, nurse.

  • SugarFree||

    Just watch out for Episiarch. He has... let's call them "issues."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Kenny Powers of Hit & Run.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    'Sup?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I said dibs.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I received a "hat tip" last night, which means I am essentially an intern, and I was just saying hello, you know, seeing if she wanted to talk shop.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Did they write an article about you?

    I thought not.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Nobody likes a one-upper.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I like you. Do you like me?

    [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Maybe

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "“We should interrogate how the Constitution’s definition of black people as property rather than citizens, changes the way that people of color view the First Amendment….

    “In [James Padilioni, Jr.’s] words, there’s “something about every facet of the document that cannot account for blacks as citizens.” For an American libertarian, that’s hard to digest, but I fear he may be right.”"

    I'm afraid this goes to the difference between American conservatives and Zinn-style American radicals.

    Both start from the premise that slavery is a Very Bad Thing and that the Founders made concessions to slavery in the Constitution - arguably some really nasty concessions.

    To the Zinn-ites, this means that America and her founding principles are tainted, and the country needs to undergo a major makeover, under the supervision of the Left, not just getting rid of slavery and its legacy but attacking all sorts of American values like free enterprise, etc., which are considered as linked to slavery and the country's original sins.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    To sensible American conservatives (as opposed to agrarian sentimentalists and their ilk), slavery was a *betrayal* of America's founding principles - the Founders lacked the power and/or courage to root it out from the South, but the Constitution they wrote never accepted the idea of slaves as property or of free black people as stateless persons. It referred to slaves as persons held to service or labor or other persons, but (contrary to Chief Justice Taney's Dred Scott opinion) never singled out black people as a class of noncitizens whose enslavement was a matter of indifference.

    Indeed, I'm largely with Lincoln's idea that the Founders envisioned the gradual removal of slavery from the land, like a gradual series of treatments to remove a cancer from a patient. Only in this way could America's excellent founding principles - which are in fact admirable - be sustained. And there's no need to change the founding principles and replace them with a Zinnian radicalism which will never be libertarian.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    It turned out that the cancer treatment was a lot more bloody than it needed to be, since the South and her supporters doubled down on the stupid and decided slavery would be perpetuated forever into the future and extended into new lands. Since the slavers wouldn't change their ways as the Founders had hoped, there was the radical remedy of a war (though that wasn't the intent of the war).

    But the slavers' leaders acknowledged that they were departing from the Founding vision. Calhoun criticized the Founding statement that all men are created equal. The descendant of George Mason didn't want the public to know about George's critical remarks against slavery.

    So much for Zinn.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    It turned out that the cancer treatment was a lot more bloody than it needed to be, since the South and her supporters doubled down on the stupid and decided slavery would be perpetuated forever into the future and extended into new lands. Since the slavers wouldn't change their ways as the Founders had hoped, there was the radical remedy of a war (though that wasn't the intent of the war).

    But the slavers' leaders acknowledged that they were departing from the Founding vision. Calhoun criticized the Founding statement that all men are created equal. The descendant of George Mason didn't want the public to know about George's critical remarks against slavery.

    So much for Zinn.

  • Seamus||

    "“We should interrogate how the Constitution’s definition of black people as property rather than citizens, changes the way that people of color view the First Amendment….

    “In [James Padilioni, Jr.’s] words, there’s “something about every facet of the document that cannot account for blacks as citizens.” For an American libertarian, that’s hard to digest, but I fear he may be right.”"

    IOW, Chief Justice Taney was a better interpreter of the original constitution than Abraham Lincoln was.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Disgusting.

  • D. M. Michell||

    Another example of the fact that politicians have no idea what an inalienable right is, and the mixing of religious beliefs into secular law. A man or woman who are married and discover that their spouse had, without their permission, sex with another person can take that spouse to divorce court and sue for damages. The evil politicians should look to their own lives, many of them have been caught committing adultery.

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