Republican Lawmaker Questions If Consent Is Needed By Unconscious Spouse


Utah legislators are debating whether or not sex with an unconscious spouse is okay. The state is revisiting the definition of rape and we all know how well that has worked for them in the past – but they just can’t help themselves.

Lawmakers debated HB47 in an effort to better understand the implications of sex between married people who may be incapacitated by medication, surgery or mental disabilities.

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

If an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious … a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape, theoretically,” said Republican Rep. Brian Greene. “That makes sense in a first date scenario, but to me, not where people have a history of years of sexual activity.”

Green added:

I’m not trying at all to justify sexual activity with an unconscious person. It’s abhorrent to me, but do we as a body a legislative body, want to make that rape in every instance?”

Maybe all the wives can be thankful that Green doesn’t always support having sex with unconscious people – he’s just kind of unclear it should always be considered “rape in every instance — dependent only upon the actor’s knowledge that the individual is unconscious. That’s the question. That’s what I struggle with.”

Rep. Brian King, a Democrat, disagreed, If a person is unconscious, having sex with him or her “is rape. Period. End of story. Let’s make the statute clear. Let’s not dance around it.”

Attorney Donna Kelly from the Utah Prosecution Council argued, “consent is a decision that has to be made at the time of the act. You cannot give consent to sexual activity if you’re unconscious.”

One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City said, “This is something that’s been a long time coming. At the end of the day, if someone’s unconscious or they’re a vulnerable adult, then the logical answer is: Don’t try to have a sexual relationship with them.”


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Kimberley Johnson

Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN: The Poll Dance & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB