CALLS STILL NEEDED: Marriage should not be a defense to sex crimes

Apr 09th, 2022

Tell the Senate to
Accept the House Version of HB153/SB33

Tell the Maryland Senate:

The Maryland State's Attorneys Association and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General both oppose the amendments to the bill to repeal marriage as a defense to sex crimes.

The Office of the Attorney General expresses these concerns:

"Logistically, this amendment is problematic because it requires the fact-finder to determine what 'physical contact [is] commonly engaged in by two individuals in a sexual relationship.' What is considered common physical contact is unique to each relationship. It also asks the fact-finder to decide how a person 'reasonably indicates' that physical contact is unwanted. It also creates a question of what constitutes an 'ongoing consensual sexual relationship,' particularly in circumstances where the parties were in the process of separating."

The Maryland State's Attorneys Association says:

"The proposed amendment creates a vague and unnecessary exception to the crime of sexual assault for individuals engaged in a prior sexual relationship. The fact that someone is in a relationship should not obviate consent under any circumstance. The amendment is out of synch with our modern understanding of consent and should be eliminated. 
Moreover, the language of the proposed amendment is vague and subject to multiple interpretations. What constitutes an 'ongoing sexual relationship?' How do we define the meaning of 'physical contact commonly engaged in by two individuals?' And lastly, what is a 'reasonable indicat[ion]' that physical contact is 'unwanted.'" 

Call your Senators now and ask them to 
support HB153/SB33 as amended by the House
 Repeal Marriage as a Defense to Sex Crimes
Don't Change the Meaning of Consent

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