Some of you will know that until 1991, rape wthin marriage was not a crime in England and Wales (in Scotland, it was already outlawed).
The reason I mention this is that whilst doing some research I stumbled upon the Hansard minutes of the debate from 1990, and it is worth a look just to see how far we have come.
One MP actually argued against this. Check this out:
Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)
…I have great respect for the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen). I understand his reasons for introducing the measure. However, I believe that it is absurd. It is an example of hard cases seeking to make bad law. It is motivated by a combination of some distressed and unfortunate women, who need our help and support and whose problems probably need to be addressed further, and those whom Private Eye calls “wimmin” – the ghastly feminist lobby who seem to think that all men are evil and that some are more evil than others, that men are made of slugs, snails and puppy dogs’ tails and that women are made of sugar, spice and all things nice.
Whatever may be the hon. Gentleman’s motive, I believe that his measure would lead to a gross abuse of the institution of marriage….[continues]