317 in 1935 indiana became the first state to abolish

This preview shows page 33 - 35 out of 52 pages.

317 In 1935, Indiana became the first state to abolish these torts. 318 By 1981, thirty-two states had abolished the tort of alienation of affections and twenty-two states had abolished the tort of criminal conversation. 319 Today, only eight states recognize causes of action for alienation of affections or criminal conversation. 320 Opponents of the adultery torts have offered a number of reasons for their abolition. Many claim that these torts, grounded in property notions that spouses (particularly wives) were chattel, are out of date with society’s views of sexual morality and the status of women and represent antiquated notions of people as property. 321 Others point out that history indicates these torts are often misused for extortion and blackmail, as many individuals do not wish for allegations of adultery, even if untrue, to be a matter of public record. 322 Finally, many opponents of the adultery torts have noted the failure of these tort actions to achieve their intended purpose of protecting marriage. 323 Specifically, opponents claim that these torts negatively affect possible reconciliation efforts of the married couples involved, hurt children by bringing additional tension, 311 Corbett, supra note 297, at n.80. 312 Id. at 1005; Jones, supra note 298, at 67. 313 Corbett, supra note 297, at 1005. 314 See, e . g ., Michele Crissman, Alienation of Affections: An Ancient Tort—But Still Alive in South Dakota , 48 S.D. L. R EV . 518, 518–19 (2002); Jones, supra note 298, at 75. 315 Corbett, supra note 297, at 1006. 316 Crissman, supra note 314, at 521. 317 Jones, supra note 298, at 69. 318 Corbett, supra note 297, at 1007. 319 Id. at 1009. 320 These states are: Illinois, South Dakota, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah. See 740 I LL . C OMP . S TAT . A NN . 5/1 (West 1993); S.D. C ODIFIED L AWS § 20–9–7 (2002); Hunt v. Chang, 594 P.2d 118, 123 (Haw. 1979); Kirk v. Koch, 607 So.2d 1220, 1222 (Miss. 1992); Birchfield v. Birchfield, 217 P. 616, 618–19 (N.M. 1923); Hutelmyer v. Cox, 514 S.E.2d 554, 560 (N.C. Ct. App. 1999); Heiner v. Simpson, 23 P.3d 1041, 1042 (Utah 2001); see also , Corbett, supra note 297, at n.77. Pennsylvania recognizes the tort of alienation of affections, but only where “where the defendant is a parent, brother or sister or a person formerly in loco parentis to the spouse of plaintiff.” 23 P A . S TAT . A NN . § 1901(b) (West 2010). 321 Crissman, supra note 314, at 529; Jones, supra note 298, at 75–77. 322 Crissman, supra note 314, at 521, 530. 323 Id. at 530; Jones, supra note 298, at 73–75.
Vol. 7:2] Jessica Feinberg 333 publicity, and embarrassment to the already strained familial situation, 324 and, as evidenced by the significant number of married individuals estimated to have sexual relations outside of their marriages, 325 have no deterrent effect. 326 2. Recent Efforts by Same-Sex Marriage Opponents to Protect the Monogamy Requirement of Traditional Marriage Some of the leading anti-same-sex marriage organizations are also leading the charge to maintain, reinstate, or expand upon severe criminal and civil penalties for adultery in order to protect traditional marriage. For example, with regard to criminal penalties for adultery, in 2010 the Family Research Council reiterated its argument that adultery should remain a crime in order to “protect the institution of marriage.”

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture