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A bill that garnered national attention because of a lawmaker's ill-advised comments wondering aloud if sex with an unconscious spouse might not be sexual assault passed the Utah House unanimously Tuesday without a single member commenting on the measure.
Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said her goal with HB74 is to make it clear in Utah law that a person who is unconscious or incapacitated cannot consent to sex. The existing language is confusing, she said, and prosecutors had sought the change.
In committee, some representatives questioned if there might be unintended consequences from the bill and Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, made national headlines when he wondered if sex with an unconscious spouse was always rape.
"If an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious ... a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape, theoretically," Greene said. "That makes sense in a first date scenario, but to me, not where people have a history of years of sexual activity."
Greene later apologized for offending anyone and accused the media of taking his comments out of context. Neither Greene, nor any other representative besides Romero, spoke in favor or against HB74. It passed unanimously and now goes to the Senate for consideration.