Of course a man can rape his wife
Jamaican legislation is in a season of change as quite a few laws are being reviewed for enactment.
Up for debate now is the Sexual Offences Act that addresses issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, marital rape, among others.
I personally think it's a great thing and I have an interest to see how this specific piece of legislation will be eventually stated and enforced.
Based on recent reports, I want to specifically address the issue of marital rape. The law is looking at whether or not a wife can be raped by her husband.
The fact that this is a question is very frightening to me because, currently, the law does not recognise a rape accusation from a married woman against her husband unless it's under very specific circumstance - like he has to be living away from the marital home for an extended period of time.
First, let me say that it's a great step forward that this law is being review. There are persons in our society, however, who will disagree with me because they feel that a husband should never be charged with raping his wife.
Their defence is that once a woman is married, she gives her body indefinitely to her husband for his pleasure, so he will never rape her because he now owns her. Not surprising, the loudest defenders of this disturbing premise are my Christian colleagues.
"Marriage presumes consent for sex by both parties," argued Philippa Davies, a representative of the church group coalition that is warning lawmakers not to hurt the 'sanctity' of marriage.
"This is why," she added, "rape in marriage, that is non-consensual sex, is conceptually challenging because of the inherent presumption of consent."
Now, when I think about all the negative consequences that a rape victim experiences, I cannot fathom how these 'people of God' can defend such a ridiculous notion.
Sex without consent is rape, regardless of who the perpetrator is. There is no such thing as presumption of consent.
Rape victims are forever changed by this atrocious act, and any husband who subjects his spouse to such an injustice should be punished with the full force of the law.
We cannot continue to call ourselves a democracy when our laws are being hijacked by the religious groups and leave so many of our citizens in vulnerable situations in the name of the Church.