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No “Gay Adultery” Law in the UK

A woman was unable to divorce her husband citing adultery because he had affairs with men rather than those of the opposite sex.

The woman found that her husband of 20 years had affairs with at least ten men contacted her lawyer to obtain a divorce but found that should had to submit the divorce under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour rather than adultery.

This is because according to UK law adultery can only occur between members of the opposite sex and must involve vaginal intercourse.

Calls for Change in Grounds for Divorce

The issue, which was brought to attention following a phone call into a BBC Radio 4 show, has led for calls for the law to be changed to accurately reflected “sexual intimacy in the 21st Century”.

Although the grounds for divorce in England and Wales differ from the grounds for divorce in Scotland, the definition of adultery in Scotland and England is the exact same, only stating that adultery can occur with the opposite sex. In civil partnerships there is no ground for adultery however, adultery can be grounds for divorce in same-sex marriage but the infidelity must involve members of the opposite sex.

The Equality Network, a Scottish gay rights group, held focus groups with their members when the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 was being debated, however it’s members stated that despite the issue with adultery, the law did not need to be changed.

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If you require legal advice regarding a divorce or separation agreement, contact our team of expert family solicitors today using our online contact form.

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