Utah Politician Not Sure It's Rape When She's Your Unconscious Wife


Utah State Representative Brian Greene is totally against rape, of course. Who wouldn’t be? Rape bad. But, you know, he wonders, totally earnestly, is it really rape if you have sex with someone while she’s unconscious? What if she’s your wife? What if you’re pretty sure she’d be totally into it? Shouldn’t there be an exception for that?

Greene aired out his dumbshit opinions during a fairly important debate Tuesday in the Utah State Capitol, during a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee. Utah state lawmakers are considering HB 74, which would tighten the state’s legal definition of rape, to make it easier to prosecute cases where the victim was unconscious or in cases when the perpetrator knows the victim is “incapable of understanding or resisting the offense.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Angela Romero, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the bill was “a long time coming,” adding, “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.”

That requirement, however, was too onerous for Rep. Greene’s taste. As Think Progress points out, he had some questions about the “unconscious” bit.

“It looks to me now like sex with an unconscious person is, by definition, rape,” he said. “I hope this wouldn’t happen, but this opens the door to it: an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious — or he, the only other way around, if that’s possible, I don’t know. But a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape.”

Greene later clarified that he wasn’t trying to “justify” sex with an unconscious person, calling it “abhorrent.” But he still didn’t like calling it rape “in every instance,” he said, “dependent only upon the actor’s knowledge that the individual is unconscious. That’s the question. That’s what I struggle with.”

There certainly is a lot of struggling going on here, that’s true. Despite Greene’s concerns, the bill passed the judiciary committee and will proceed to the full house for what we’re sure will be a truly memorable floor debate.

Screenshot via Think Progress/KTSU

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin