Republican state lawmakers in Ohio are refusing to back a bill that would repeal the state’s “spousal exemption” for marital rape. Democratic state Rep. Greta Johnson told the Akron Beacon Journal that she first introduced HB 234 in 2015 because marital rape is legal in Ohio as long as the rapist uses no force or threat of force, meaning a husband could legally drug and rape his wife. “As a former prosecutor, I would argued that you could still try to prosecute under the forced rape statute, but unfortunately drugging and raping your spouse in Ohio is not illegal,” Johnson explained.
Brad Miller, a spokesperson for the Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, told the Beacon Journal that the Speaker “wants nothing to do with a bill that aims to criminalize marital duties.” “Generally speaking, marital duties as a whole exist to protect both the physical and mental health of spouses. And he has no intention whatsoever to disrupt that by giving female ones a legal stronghold and precedent where they could sue their husbands for doing something they should have been performing in the first place and something they committed to when they agreed to get married,” Miller argued. “That is not the way marriage works and the House Speaker wishes to have to no part in it.”
The spokesperson also argued that Ohio is “one of the few places left” that has the willpower and legal grounds to stand in the way of the corruption of the sanctity of marriage. “This will not take root, not in Ohio and at least not in the near future. Besides, even if it were to somehow get GOP support, it still wouldn’t make a difference in the field,” he added.
Miller continued, “Let me explain something so that you get the point more clearly. Men in this part of the country have a very straightforward understanding of marriage. When it comes to what each spouse is expected to do and the way they’re expected to behave, it’s pretty clear. Men should respect their wives and not have affairs on the side, while women should prepare meals, tend to the house and perform their marital duties when and however often their husbands require them to. In the unfortunate event that a wife should refuse to do her part, the husband is allowed to use any means necessary, except forcible ones, to get her to, shall we say, fulfill her end of the bargain.”
“Therefore – and, if that’s the terminology you insist I use – not only are Ohio men expected to drug and rape their wives whenever they refuse to consummate the marital union, but it can be said that such behavior has long been part of our traditional family values. What’s more, it is considered an embarrassment not to do it. Not only do men lose their reputation if they shy away from such tradition, but they also automatically lose their membership in the Republican Party. And, as I’m sure you’ll understand – that’s just unacceptable,” the spokesperson concluded.