California lawmakers have made the state the first in the country to make “stealthing,” or removing a condom without consent during sexual activity, illegal. On Tuesday, lawmakers submitted Governor Gavin Newsom a law that included the act in the state’s civil definition of sexual assault.
The law makes it unlawful to remove condom without spoken permission or consent. However, the criminal code remains unchanged. Instead, the civil code would be amended to allow a victim to sue the perpetrator for damages, including severe damages.
However, if the victim is married to the offender, the bill eliminates an exception to the rape legislative changes. California is one of 11 states that separate marital rape from other types of sexual assaults.
The divide, according to legislators of the bill, dates back to a time when women were supposed to obey their husbands. Those found guilty of spousal rape may now be eligible for probation rather than imprisonment.
They must further register as sex offenders if the action involves force or violence, and the partner received a state jail sentence. The bill passed with a vote of 36-0 and is now back in the Assembly for a final vote before members adjourn.
US politician Cristina Garcia has been advocating for legislation since 2017, when a Yale University study found that acts of stealth against both women and LGBT men were on the rise. Her first bill aimed to criminalise it.
Even if the behaviour isn’t officially included in the penal code, legislative experts stated at the time that it may be regarded a minor sexual abuse. However, according to the experts, it is rarely convicted, given the difficulty in showing that a culprit acted wilfully rather than accidentally.
Cristina Garcia’s bill would make it unlawful to remove condoms without their partners’ permission. Other states have proposed laws of this kind, but California would be the first. “It’s disgusting that online communities defend and encourage stealth,” Garcia argues.
On Tuesday, the state Senate moved to consider a marital rape the same as a non- marital rape. The Erotic Service Providers Legal Educational Research Project has strongly supported the bill, claiming that it will empower sex workers to sue clients who remove condoms during generally sexual activities.
Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com