OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Senate has approved a measure that would no longer allow marriage to remain an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault.
The measure that was passed on a unanimous vote on Monday would remove the spousal exemption from both rape in the third degree -- in which no physical force is used -- and from taking indecent liberties.
Until the 1970s, most states considered marriage to preclude any form of rape. Washington removed the marital exemption for first- and second-degree rape in 1983.
The House passed the measure earlier this month and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee.