It is one thing if a lone idiot — in this case, Ohio Rep. Bill Dean (R-Xenia) decides to go on the record as defending rapists.
But it is another thing if his peers in government allow it to pass without condemnation.
I’ve been calling the offices of Gov. DeWine, OH Speaker Stevens, and the Ohio GOP (as well as Mr. Dean’s office) repeatedly over the last few days. My questions are simple, and have gone completely unanswered.
- I want to know what the terms of Bill Dean’s support of rape and sexual assault are. If two people are in the process of being divorced, is that still acceptable to him? When they’re engaged? Does Rep. Dean think that it is okay for one spouse to force another to do any sexual act non-consensually, or does his approval of sexual assault only cover certain positions? Does it only apply when the male spouse initiates it — as his gendered comment implies? What about same-sex couples?
- For the rest, I want to know if they support Bill Dean’s statement. Not whether or not they support him, or whether or not they think he should stay in office. Just whether or not they agree with his statement: “I personally don’t believe that a man, if he’s married and has physical relations with his wife, that can be considered rape.”.
I realize that Bill Dean probably does not want to clarify where his support of rape begins and ends.
For the rest of them, this should be a no-brainer.
There are only two possible reasons I can imagine for their silence.
- They value party unity more than stopping rapists
- They agree with Bill Dean, and support some kinds of rape.
I realize that literally the entire rest of the Ohio House voted differently than Dean. Congratulations to them on not being horrible. Congratulations to them at meeting the bare minimum of human decency.
Their vote alone is not enough. In fact, their voting record makes their lack of condemnation all the more confusing.
Every last Representative that voted to close the "spousal rape loophole" — including you, Speaker Stevens — has already voted.
So why is it so difficult to say "Rape and sexual assault are wrong, period, and Bill Dean has made an error of judgment here"?