MCASA E-lert: Call your Legislators NOW to Vote to Rescind Marriage as a Defense to Sex Crimes - VOTE Expected Friday

Feb 05th, 2020

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to vote this Friday morning, February 7, on legislation rescinding marriage as a defense to sex crimes. 

The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) urges you to contact members of the committee and ask them to support SB 230 with NO amendments.

Marriage Should Not Be a Defense to Sex Crimes

Currently, Maryland law allows marriage to be a defense to some sex crimes. This archaic law means that married people have less protection from sex crimes than unmarried people.

Getting married should not mean that you give up your right to control your own body.  It's time to move Maryland out of the dark ages and firmly reject the notion that marriage is an irrevocable and continual consent to offensive sexual touching.

Rescinding marriage as a defense to sex crimes would not change the sex crimes law -- touching that is a "common expression of familial or friendly affection" is not a crime now and would not become one under SB230.  Senators should resist all amendments and simply eliminate marriage as an automatic defense to sex crimes.
Contact the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and urge them to resist all amendments and vote favorably on SB 230, the Love is No Defense Act, to give justice to survivors of marital rape and sex offenses.

A list of the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee along with their contact information is below.



William C. Smith Jr., Chair (D-20)
Phone: (410) 841-3634 | (301) 858-3634
E-mail: [email protected]

Jeff Waldstreicher, Vice Chair (D-18)
Phone: (410) 841-3137 | (301) 858-3137
E-mail: [email protected]

Baltimore City:
Jill P. Carter (D-41)
Phone: (410) 841-3697 | (301) 858-3697
E-mail: [email protected]

Baltimore County:
Chris West (D-42)
Phone: (410) 841-3648 | (301) 858-3648
E-mail: [email protected]

Shelly Hettleman (D-11)
Phone: (410) 841-3131 | (301) 858-3131
E-mail: [email protected]

Baltimore City and Baltimore County:
Charles E. Sydnor, III (D-44)
Phone: (410) 841-3612 | (301) 858-3612
E-mail: [email protected]

Carroll County:
Justin Ready (D-5)
Phone: (410) 841-3683 | (301) 858-3683
E-mail: [email protected]

Frederick County:
Ronald N. Young (D-3)
Phone: (410) 841-3575 | (301) 858-3575
E-mail: [email protected]

Frederick and Carroll Counties:
Michael J. Hough (D-4)
Phone: (410) 841-3704 | (301) 858-3704
E-mail: [email protected]

Harford County:
Robert Cassilly (D-34)
Phone: (410) 841-3158 | (301) 858-3158
E-mail: [email protected]

Montgomery County:
Susan C. Lee (D-16)
Phone: (410) 841-3124 | (301) 858-3124
E-mail: [email protected]

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