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U.S. News Archive
January 17 - January 23, 2000





This page contains news for the period Monday, January 17, 2000 through Sunday, January 23, 2000.





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Saturday, January 22, 2000

Bill would make adultery a criminal offense in Washington State

A story published today in the Daily Herald reports that people who stray from their marriages could find themselves on the wrong side of the law if an anti-cheating bill is approved by the Washington Legislature.

Rep. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, on Thursday introduced House Bill 2782, which would make having an affair an actionable offense -- in other words, families would have a right to protection from "wrongful interference by third parties."

The state Supreme Court threw out the doctrine in 1980 when a man sued another man he accused of having an affair with his wife. The court said the notion of "alienation of affections" reflected earlier times. A lawmaker attempted to reintroduce the law in 1988, but the bill died.

This bill may also die a sudden death.

Carrell, co-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, must get his Democrat counterpart to agree to give the measure a hearing -- something Rep. Dow Constantine, D-Seattle, said he probably won't do.

"Some things just aren't subject to law, criminal or civil, and one of those things is a personal relationship between two people," Constantine said.

According to the story, Carrell was divorced 23 years ago, and said he just wants to strengthen the institution of marriage for the good of families and society as a whole. His bill has 13 co-sponsors.


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