Biblical view of interracial dating
Adultery refers to sexual relations which are not officially legitimized; for example it does not refer to having sexual intercourse with multiple partners in the case of polygamy (when a man is married to more than one wife at a time, called polygyny; or when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, called polyandry).In the traditional English common law, adultery was a felony.For example, New York defines an adulterer as a person who "engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse." In the 2003 New Hampshire Supreme Court case Blanchflower v.Blanchflower, it was held that female same-sex sexual relations did not constitute sexual intercourse, based on a 1961 definition from Webster's Third New International Dictionary; and thereby an accused wife in a divorce case was found not guilty of adultery. Bushey, for adultery, a case that ended in a guilty plea and a 5 fine.
In Canada, though the written definition in the Divorce Act refers to extramarital relations with someone of the opposite sex, a British Columbia judge used the Civil Marriage Act in a 2005 case to grant a woman a divorce from her husband who had cheated on her with another man, which the judge felt was equal reasoning to dissolve the union.
Adultery often incurred severe punishment, usually for the woman and sometimes for the man, with penalties including capital punishment, mutilation, or torture.
Such punishments have gradually fallen into disfavor, especially in Western countries from the 19th century.
Extramarital sexual acts not fitting this definition are not "adultery" though they may constitute "unreasonable behavior", also a ground of divorce.
The application of the term to the act appears to arise from the idea that "criminal intercourse with a married woman ...