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California Senator Proposes Bill to Rectify Antiquated Rape Law

Remember last week, when an appeals court in California overturned a rape conviction because the victim was unmarried? State Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) has had about enough of that.

The new legislation, SB 59, would replace “spouse” with “sexually intimate partner,” extending a provision–which previously only counted sex-by-impersonation as rape if the victim is married–to all cohabitants, including single women and men, domestic partners and gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender pairs.

This sounds great, but I worry that future convictions could hinge on the definition of “sexually intimate partner”. For example, what if someone tricks a woman into thinking he’s the guy from her hook-up of the previous night?