Republican congressional candidate says marital rape should be legal


THIS GUY must have loved the scene in “Gone With The Wind” where Rhett forcibly carries Scarlett up the stairs for a round of sex against her will:

Good news for Virginians living in the 13th district who think that husbands should be allowed to rape their wives: State Senator Richard “Dick” Black has fought for your right to do so. And now he’s running for Congress.

The rabidly conservative Republican was one of the state delegates who argued against criminalizing spousal rape in 2002, asking his fellow assemblymen, “How on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”

Not everyone agreed with Black’s logic that wearing a nightie is an invitation for non-consensual sex (legislation exempting spousal rape from being prosecuted was repealed). Marital rape has been illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia since 1993, according to RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. The crime remains a serious issue (a third of all domestic violence cases involve spousal rape), but often goes unpunished because, like all rape cases, it can be difficult to prove. “When there’s not a third party witness or no external reference it becomes his word against hers,” said RAINN president and founder Scott Berkowitz. “So it’s sometimes very challenging for prosecutors to win a conviction.”

In the world according to Dick Black, the fact that spousal rape is hard to prosecute is reason enough to keep it out of the court system altogether. (Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than this argument is that denizens of Virginia elected Black to serve as state senator two years ago.)


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