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Sexual Consent Bill Passes House With No Debate

File Photo
File: Utah House of Representatives

The Utah House voted unanimously to pass HB74 Tuesday. The bill clarifies the meaning of consent in sexual offense cases.

Democratic Rep. Angela Romero’s bill would make any sexual act with an unconscious person a sexual offense. While that is technically the case now, Romero says her bill makes that a lot clearer by removing the requirement for an unconscious victim to not give consent.

“How can someone prove they were unconscious if they were unconscious," she says. "So that’s all it does, it clarifies language and it actually benefits both the defense and prosecution.”

Last week the bill received considerable attention after Republican Rep. Brian Greene showed concerns during a committee meeting about unintended consequences the bill might have, such as removing the ability of a husband to have sex with his unconscious wife.

But when presented on the House floor Tuesday, not a single person asked a question, and every legislator voted in favor of it. House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King says that’s because leadership on both sides of the aisle believed there wasn’t a need for discussion that deviated from the core of the bill.

“If we support the bill, if the bill is non-controversial why engage in these hypotheticals that are inflammatory that only serve to cause people to say what in the world are you guys talking about down there,” he says.

Republican Senator Todd Weiler will now sponsor the bill as it heads through the Senate.

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